Sunday, July 10, 2016

DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF CATHOLICS BELIEVE THAT ADAM AND EVE LITERALLY EXISTED OR NOT?


So many academics in the Church think proving that Adam and Eve didn't exist is some kind of big deal that will impact Catholics as they live their faith and good works lives daily. Does it? No!

To be honest with you, I don't give a flip if Catholics believe in the literal meaning of the Bible or see it as allegory. I don't care if they think the Book of Genesis is to be taken literally or not. I could care less if they tend toward creationism or evolution. I am not a science or history teacher. I will leave it to them to fret over such stuff.

Regardless of which perspective or theory Catholics believe, I hope that they take the religious meaning of the Book of Genesis to heart. That we were created by God, male and female we were created, in His image and likeness and somewhere along the line sin entered humanity and God's people turned from Him to false gods, like themselves and thought salvation was of human origin and in human kings and queens.

God's mercy is abundant as is His judgements. Ultimately a new Covenant in His Son's Blood is the final one and all we have to do is use our free will- a grace in and of itself- to accept this covenant and its laws. God's love is to be accepted as is salvation; it is never imposed.

Given the discussion on another post, this All Souls' Day, 2011 article from Commonweal is timely!

What do Catholics believe about Adam and Eve?

For the past few months, many evangelicals and Baptists and other conservative Christians in the Protestant stream have been debating -- and generally pushing back against -- the science showing that the human race could not literally have descended from two progenitors, Adam and Eve. Christianity Today had a cover story and carefully-worded editorial on the matter over the summer, NPR picked up the story here, and Al Mohler, a leading Southern Baptist apologist, strongly defended the necessity of a literal belief in Adam and Eve (chiefly in order to undergird a belief in original sin, it seems) here and here.I watched this with the dispassionate gaze of the journalist eyeing a story but also a bit of the triumphalism of the Catholic thankful that his church, or rather Church (there's only one "the Church," as Lenny Bruce put it) didn't get mired in such embarrassing literalism.Oops.John Farrell at Forbes noted that:
The Catholic Church indeed of all the Christian churches faces a particular quandary. The Council of Trent is quite explicit on the topic. Catholics are required to believe not only that Adam is the single father of the human race, but that Original Sin is passed on by physical generation from him to the entire human race. Its not something symbolic or allegorical (although it is regarded as ultimately mysterious). The First Vatican Council reiterated the doctrine, as did Pope Pius XII in his 1950 encyclical Humani Generis:
"For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own."
Catholic apologists who point to Pope John Paul IIs 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences as evidence of the Churchs acceptance of evolution often fail to notice that the late Pope completely passed over the question of monogenism, and indeed never did discuss the problem that genetics poses to the doctrine.
Indeed, evidence against a literal Adam and Eve is pretty conclusive. As Farrell writes:
There are to be sure individual Catholic theologians out there mulling over how to handle the problem. But they are not on the Vaticans radar, and a new encyclical on the issue is not likely to come very soon.This is unfortunate. For while the Vatican maintains its silence on the challenge of genomics, Catholics in general are either encouraged to fall back on the denialism of Evangelical leaders like Albert Mohler, or to keep their mouths shut.
Catholics tend not to keep their mouths shut, and shouldn't, nor should they have to adopt views like Al Mohler's.Catholic News Service had a good story featuring Franciscan Father Michael D. Guinan, professor of Old Testament at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, who said Catholic teaching has developed. [T]he question of biological origins is a scientific one," Father Guinan told CNS, "and, if science shows that there is no evidence of monogenism and there is lots of evidence for polygenism, then a Catholic need have no problem accepting that. Well, Catholic World News had a problem accepting Father Guinan's comments, and titled its report on his "unorthodox" views this way: "Franciscan scholar dismisses teaching of Catechism, Pius XII on Adam and Eve."A Sept. 12, 2011 feature in America magazine also highlighted the divide, as author Brian Pinter noted the prevalence of biblical literalism among Catholics (at least on Genesis) and explained why that should not be.So, as per the title of this lengthy post, what do Catholics believe about Adam and Eve? Is Pius' encyclical just something we pass over in silence? Should it be "corrected"? Need it be?BONUS MATERIAL: Andrew Sullivan had a number of posts on the issues of whether the Fall must be true in the literal sense, or whether a figurative reading would make Christianity fall apart. I'd say not, but atheist Jerry Coyne took that line, and Ross Douthat ably defended.

291 comments:

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Anonymous said...

The female mitochondria suggests that humans living today descended from a single female ancestor. This is not religion but science.

A Biblical story: God created everything out of nothing ..... the Big Bang theory is a scientific proposition. Just saying...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It’s not “female mitochondria” that suggests a single, common ancestor. It is the DNA in the mitochondria (MtDNA). And yes, since we are talking science, the specificity matters.

This hypothesis was presented in 1987. It was trumpeted by some as “proof” that we all descended from Eve. Or, at least, that we all descended from a single, common female ancestor, whatever she might have been called.

But, that is not the scientific case. Rick Groleau writes in “Tracing Ancestry with MtDNA,” “The ancestor referred to in the 1987 Nature article can be more precisely stated as "the most recent common ancestor through matrilineal descent of all humans living today." In other words, she is the most recent person from whom everyone now living on Earth has inherited his or her mtDNA. This certainly does not mean that she is the ancestral mother of all who came after her; during her time and even before her time there were many women and men who contributed to the nuclear genes we now carry.”

There are numerous scientific articles available online to show the errors made in the original 1987 article and in the analysis of the data used to produce that paper.

Marc said...

No single ancestors for all men = no original sin = no need for a Redeemer = no Christ

It would also mean that God, if he exists, is a liar.

What do they teach you all at seminary?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I can't comment on the other priests, but I was taught that God created all in a way that we will never ever completely understand. That being created in the image and likeness of God, that original sin is the desire in us to disobey God if we are tempted to think we can become God and control all like God does. This falleness on our part is imprinted in our DNA and affects us not only individually but collectively in that we turn away from God to false idols of power and control independent of God or look to others to be god for us.

One can believe in any scientific theory about creation and still believe that God is the creator, there is original and actual sin properly understood as a free-will decision to disobey God and try to become our own god or have something else be that.

I don't see your hysteria in all of this Marc except that the foundation of your faith may be a literalism as it concerns the creation accounts and is not rooted in the religious teaching it conveys about God and who we are.

George said...

As faithful Catholics , we believe that the Son God,of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who is Himself God, became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, who herself was created without sin and also forever remains a virgin. This occurred because God INTERVENED in the creative process He instituted from the beginning. Anyone who is truly Catholic, believes and accepts this.

If you believe all the above, which is contained in inerrant Scripture, and which we as faithful Catholics are required to believe and profess if we are such, then it is far easier to believe that at some point, God INTERVENED in the creative process He had instituted from the beginning, to create two unique individuals Adam and Eve, who were without sin. I don't concern myself with how God (who can raise life from stones) did what he did, which is beyond human understanding anyway, only that He has the power to do these things and more, and that He acts through the love and mercy he has towards us.

Where science ends, faith continues on.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc - There is no theological reason to believe that multiple ancestors (polygeny) makes Original Sin impossible. If, as Scripture says, "all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23) that "all" would include all humans, regardless of their parentage.

Good Father - I would studiously avoid making a connection between DNA and Original Sin. One is a matter of science, the other is a matter of faith. We do not inherit Original Sin as we inherit hair color or other physical traits.

Rather, I would say that we are all born into a broken world and we are all influenced by the effects Original Sin. Concupiscence is something that all humans suffer from. All are, therefore, in need of a Redeemer, Christ.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

If belief in Adam and Eve is based on a rejection of science, then it can be a Big Deal. I would suspect that many who hold for the historical existence of Adam and Eve, the existence of a “Garden of Eden,” the existence of an overly talkative snake, etc., would have no trouble whatsoever subjecting themselves to science based chemotherapy, to flying in a plane designed by scientists (aeronautical engineers), or drinking water from the tap that has been made safe through a variety of science based treatments and filtrations.

And there’s the rub. This “Yes to THIS Science, No to THAT Science” dichotomy is a form of cognitive dissonance, and that is never a particularly reasonable position to hold.

If belief in Adam and Eve is based on Biblical literalism, then, again, it can become a Big Deal. The Church has never been a proponent of Biblical literalism because the Church has known since day one that the intention of the authors was not to have their words taken literally. When John wrote, using metaphors, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” or “I am the door,” he did not intend to be understood literally.

The same is true for the author(s) of Genesis. They used myth, not allegory, to describe the creation of the world by God in a way that used symbols (Adam and Eve, a talkative snake, a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, etc) to speak to a reality that they could not understand.

George said...

Faith makes literally true for us, what science would find implausible, if not impossible.

Science:a woman giving birth while remaining a virgin? Are you kidding?

For a person of faith, this and other things and others are real actualities.

Marc said...

It's not hysteria, Father. It's logic.

Original sin came into the world as a result of the Fall of Adam and Eve. If that event did not take place, then the entire faith is false. There must have been a state of original justice before the Fall. And it must be that the Fall happened through one common ancestor in order to apply to all men.

If there was no Fall and/or it did not apply to all men, then there is not need for a Redeemer to purchase for us an opportunity to return to the state of grace and justice in accord with God's pre-Fall plan. So if there was no Fall, there was no need for the Incarnation and the Passion and Death of Christ. In fact, if there was no Fall by a common ancestor, then God has lied to everyone for all time about the need for a Redeemer. Since God cannot lie, this would mean there is no God.

If you are teaching people to accept whatever creation account strikes their fancy, you are basically telling them to be agnostic or atheist since, eventually, they'll realize that logic dictates exactly what I'm pointing out above.

Anonymous said...

The POWER of Questions. I love it when people question and learn.
I love Fr. McD's responses. I wish he would comment more on this blog.
There are other good questions that have been asked here.
Great Job helping us see Fr. McD. We need Holy Men to help us see.
THANK YOU

Marc said...

The Church has said that polygenism is not true. That's enough for me since the Author of Creation teaches through the Church He founded.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc - Why must it be, "...through ONE (caps mine) common ancestor in order to apply to all men."?

If any and all common ancestors sinned (we know that all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God),and if we are all common descendants of those sinners, are not all in need of a Redeemer?

George said...


We have an all-powerful God who can do things and act in ways which are beyond our limited grasp. Don't allow the limits of what science can determine, limit your faith in what God can accomplish.
How did our first parents mentioned in scripture come about? Is it that at some point, in the development of our species, earthly beings having sufficiently developed the proper and necessary capability of rational thought and understanding, God infused a soul into the human bodies of two unique individuals? That these two individuals subsequently disobeyed God through the influence and tempting of the Fallen Angel and so what we call Original Sin came into being? Speculating on how this came about will not lead us to ontological certainty in this matter. Accept what Scripture conveys to us that there did exist the two human beings know as Adam and Eve, who then sinned by disobeying the Creator-God, and that this Original Sin and its effects have from that time been passed on to every human being. Because of this, through the merits of Christ's Suffering and Death, the Sacrament of Baptism was instituted.

We are reqired by faith to believe that God, along with the action of biological parents (Joachim and Ann), created a unique individual (the Blessed Virgin) without sin. So now there is a problem to believe that sometime in history prior to her creation, God created twe other persons (Adam and Eve) without sin? That this is more problematic to believe than the miracle that takes place on our altars every day?

Marc said...

Among other things, God said so, through the mouth of St. Paul: "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned."

Of course everyone has sinned. There's a difference between the original sin and personal sins, though. At any rate, it is good enough that the Church teaches this -- there needn't be any additional explanation for those with faith in Christ and the Church He founded.

Pray for an increase of faith so that you too can accept it. I can't explain it more to you. Some people have the gift of faith and others don't. It's a great mystery.

Jenny said...

Ah, George, how I have loved your reasoned, faithful input over the years--thank you!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc, No the Church has not said that polygenism is not true.

Humani Generis says, "Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion (polygenism) can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own."

If the previous statement, "For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents." were irreformable, there would have been no reason for Pius XII to have continued onto the next statement which is, essentially, "But if in the future we DO come to understand how this opinion can be reconciled..."

I think we have come to that time.

Marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc said...

Even the New Church catechism teaches monogenism as opposed to polygenism. That is the constant teaching of the Church, regardless of whether your twisted reading of Humani Generis is correct or mistaken (and it is certainly the latter and not the former, as even a cursory reading of the context in Humani Generis indicates -- for one who so loves hermeneutics and contexts, you're clearly deliberately misrepresenting the document to suit your own erroneous belief).

What you "think" is irrelevant to the question of what the Church teaches.

Marc said...

George, you've made some great posts in this thread!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It is in no way "twisted" to understand Pius' wisdom in what he wrote. "It is in no way apparent..." is very much a man speaking in a particular historical context. I think is was wise in leaving open the door to further development (evolution) of this doctrine.

Would you tell us what you understand, ""Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion (polygenism) can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own." might mean?

Jusadbellum said...

I don't think we need to rush to judgement given how quickly "science" is changing. It used to be the consensus of 'SCIENCE' that before 10,000 BC no cities existed, everyone were hunter/gatherers. Then they discovered the 15,000 BC settlement in Turkey with, of all things, a buried temple.

So let's wait and see before rushing to presume the scientists are right and our theology is wrong.

Secondly we need to keep an eye on eugencists and the ever present racial superiorists that would have a field day in drawing a straight line from polygenetics to their tribe's standing in the world. There are already enough white or black or asian or hispanic racists who insist that their tribe is inherently superior due to DNA rather than culture....

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

Some comments on your post at 6:58 p.m. directed at Father Kavanaugh (with my apologies to him and to others for also repeating some points he made on the earlier thread “Way Before, Then After, etc,”):

(1) “Even the New Church catechism teaches monogenism as opposed to polygenism.”

I have read through the relevant passages in the Catechism and I agree that it is phrased in conventional terms referring to the Genesis story of an individual Adam and an individual Eve. However, in the section entitled “How to read the account of the Fall” it states:

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

And in the earlier section on “Man in Paradise” the Catechism states:

375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original “state of holiness and justice.” This grace of original holiness was “to share in . . . divine life.”

See further Father Kavanaugh’s post at 2:23 p.m. on July 7 on the earlier thread for additional relevant references to the Catechism.

(2) “That is the constant teaching of the Church, regardless of whether your twisted reading of Humani Generis is correct or mistaken (and it is certainly the latter and not the former, as even a cursory reading of the context in Humani Generis indicates -- for one who so loves hermeneutics and contexts, you're clearly deliberately misrepresenting the document to suit your own erroneous belief).”

But how could a figurative and non-literal understanding of Adam and Eve as referring to more than two individuals be reconciled with Humani Generis? This is where it may be important to pay attention to the context of the passages quoted so far, including the short extract from Humani Generis in the Gibson article at the head of this thread. Here are the relevant passages (paragraphs 35, 36, and 37) in full:

[continued]

Anonymous 2 said...

35. It remains for Us now to speak about those questions which, although they pertain to the positive sciences, are nevertheless more or less connected with the truths of the Christian faith. In fact, not a few insistently demand that the Catholic religion take these sciences into account as much as possible. This certainly would be praiseworthy in the case of clearly proved facts; but caution must be used when there is rather question of hypotheses, having some sort of scientific foundation, in which the doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture or in Tradition is involved. If such conjectural opinions are directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God, then the demand that they be recognized can in no way be admitted.

36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith. Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.

These paragraphs distinguish between “clearly proved facts” and “hypotheses” or “conjectural opinions.”

[continued]

Anonymous 2 said...

The way I read them is that if polygenism were a clearly proved fact (which presumably means: a theory that is correct with a very high degree of probability because science, as I understand it, must always remain open to the possibility of revision in light of new evidence), it would not only not be impermissible for the Church to acknowledge the theory; it would in fact be “praiseworthy.” And one of the main reasons for this is surely the reason given by St. Augustine in the passage quoted by Father Kavanaugh at 8:27 p.m. on July 6 on the earlier thread, that is, the Church will only discredit itself and the Faith if it denies such “clearly proved facts.”

On the other hand, if an hypothesis has not (yet) attained this status but remains a “conjectural opinion,” then Catholics are only free to recognize it if it is not “directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God.” Here, Pope Pius makes a distinction between evolution and polygenesis. The former can be cautiously acknowledged, provided certain conditions are observed, but it is “in no way apparent” how the latter can be. I think Father Kavanaugh is likely correct that this latter language does leave an opening for reconciling polygenesis with the doctrine of the Church if and when scientific evidence supporting it accumulates.

(3) “What you ‘think’ is irrelevant to the question of what the Church teaches.”

Now, I am insufficiently schooled in the relevant science to evaluate whether such evidence has accumulated or indeed could ever accumulate (for example, whether science could ever prove that souls were not infused into one male body and one female body and any other bodies then existing did not all die without issue) but I am quite confident, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if and when it does, the Church will be able to handle it without harming our faith just as it has handled the heliocentric theory and the Big Bang theory.

Why am I so confident? Because of two premises: First, that our God is a God of Truth and there simply_cannot_be a conflict between the truths of the Faith and the truths of science. And second, that there will never be a scientific truth that strikes at the heart of the Faith, for example, a scientific truth that miracles cannot occur, and that any scientific truth can be reconciled with Catholic doctrine in such a way that they are not opposed. This is largely because scientific inquiry is subject to inherent epistemological limitations imposed by our possession of only five senses and by reasoning faculties that ultimately cannot transcend the confines of human experience, including especially our experience of space and time. In this perspective, moreover, the progress of scientific knowledge can be regarded as a test of our faith and of our trust in this God of Truth, and an uncompromising fundamentalism that insists in a literal interpretation of everything in the Bible is evidence of a weakness not a strength of faith.

Thankfully, then, I do not need to worry about which one is “true” – monogenesis or polygenesis. Either way, there can be no threat to the Faith. As I read once on a poster: “Jesus came to take away our sins, not our minds.” Indeed so! In short, as Father Kavanaugh suggests in various posts towards the end of the earlier thread, let science be science and let God be God and all will be well.
________________________________

I am unable to access the Sullivan posts for which Gibson provides a link. The link does not work for me and I have been unable to track them down on the internet. Has anyone read them and, if so, can you please post another link that works?




Anonymous said...

Several years ago my husband and I participated in the National Geographic Genome Project.
For those of you interested in Ancestry this is a wonderful study. They take your DNA from your cheek and can place you into one of several groups based on that DNA sample. The study has identified I think about 5 or 6
groups of humans and traces their migration. All of these groups no matter what race began in Africa and it
was my understanding from the study that all living humans today can trace ancestry to one woman who lived
5,000 years ago. They nicknamed her Eve. I realize that the Earth is well over 5,000 years but the fact that all
living today have the same ancestor is very interesting. I also believe in Evolution. Why would it be so hard to think
that over time Adam and Eve evolved and were infused with a soul from God. They would in my opinion have been sinless because God said at the End of Creation when he rested that "All was Good" But something happened and they sinned. There had to be something that tempted them to sin. Didn't the Devil hate God's creation and want to destroy it? I know we can't take everything in the Bible literally but why can't some of it be literal? And I don't know I am just asking. Its just hard to imagine "the fall of man" without the Adam and Eve characters. Didn't we inherit the sin? Cant you only inherit something from your parents... Just asking??

DJR said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Marc - There is no theological reason to believe that multiple ancestors (polygeny) makes Original Sin impossible.

The theory is very easily refuted.

As Marc stated, Saint Paul is clear that it is through one man that sin and death entered the world, and it is in him that all have sinned, and he is the reason that all have to die.

Romans 5:12: Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

Once Adam sinned, another person living could not commit "original sin." Adam had already done it.

But God created man sinless, as it is not possible for Him to make something sinful. Therefore, if only one man (Adam) is responsible for original sin, as Saint Paul makes abundantly clear, that means the others that were allegedly alive at the time Adam sinned would still be without sin.

Why would Adam's sin have affected them? According to the polygenist theory, they are not descended from Adam.

But if they are not descended from him, then original sin would not pass to them from Adam, nor would they have to die.

At the time of Adam's sin, they would still be in the state of their original innocence (unless it is claimed that God created them sinful).

Why then did they die?

In order for them to die, they would have to sin also, but that contradicts Saint Paul. If polygenism is true, Saint Paul's words are false.

And if Adam is just some sort of allegory, the genealogy contained in Saint Luke's Gospel is also a fable.

DJR

Jan said...

I agree with Marc and DJR. I was taught as a child about Adam and Eve, our first parents. I accepted it in faith then and I accept it in faith now. The Church Fathers taught that Mary is the new Eve and she is our solitary boast.

There is ample science to support the fact that the world was created by God as stated. God can do anything, and so this idea that he waited for centuries and centuries for man to evolve is just too hard for me to believe. As far as I am concerned, evolution attempts to limit God who is limitless. The whole point of evolution is usually relied on to disprove there is a God and to say that man is in control. Evolution is no more than a theory. It has not been proven and a lot of it has in fact been built on faked evidence.

I have argued this point before with Fr K and I won't attempt to argue it again. He failed to convince me last time and he will never ever convince me that God could not do the job on the spot. Even creating a Fr K was not an impossible challenge to God - although to some it may have seemed so and some may wish in Fr K's case God had waited a few centuries!


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - You can't use scriptural quotes to "refute" scientific data. On the other hand, you can't use scientific data to prove or refute matters of faith.

Jan - There is zero scientific data to support the belief that God created the world.
Evolution is not designed to disprove God, but to explain scientifically how more complex organisms evolved from less complex one, and how those organisms change over time.

When you say evolution is only a "theory," you show your ignorance. You are confusing hypothesis with theory. An hypothesis is "a tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others;..."

A theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena..."

I'm not arguing the point. I am explaining your error. If you choose not to accept the data, that's your business.

Anonymous said...

Jan that is so mean to insult Father K in that way.
How can all of you continue to insult these priests and the pope.
How can you call yourself Catholic when you insult the very men
that God has sent to work for the Church. Father K I personally
and so glad that God created you exactly when he did. What is
it with these constant insults from certain posters. What a shame.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR and Jan:


Didn’t Pope St. John Paul II make it clear that the Church is open to the theory of biological evolution properly understood and that it is not wrong for a Catholic to recognize it as a valid theory (as I do for example)?

I agree that God can do anything and surely this also means that God, who is eternal and transcends space and time, could use the mechanism of biological evolution to create the physical vessel into which He then infused a soul when the time was right, that is, when the vessel had attained a certain level of development. I would add that theoretically this could have occurred for a group of humans (polygenism) instead of just a single pair (monogenism) from whom we are all descended, without harming the fundamentals of the Faith, if all committed Original Sin and suffered the Fall. And if there were compelling scientific evidence for polygenism, that is that all humans_must_be descended from multiple original ancestors and_cannot_be descended from just a single pair, the Church would_have_to make some such accommodation in its teaching or else look ridiculous and lose credibility.

This said, could there ever be such compelling scientific evidence? As I said in my earlier post, I am insufficiently schooled in the relevant science to know. My general understanding, however, is that the evidence for the theory of biological evolution (and perhaps therefore even more so for polygenism) is not (yet) as compelling as the evidence for the theory of cosmological evolution, which maintains that the universe is about 14.5 billion years old (a measure of time that is meaningless to an eternal God or even a humble photon). But on such biological matters I have to defer to those such as Father Kavanaugh who_are_schooled in the relevant science.



Marc said...

Anonymous, it is not insulting a priest to point out that he is wrong about something. Some of the greatest heretics in history were priests and bishops: Arius, Nestorius, Martin Luther. Being a priest does not mean that the person is right about everything or is above criticism.

Specifically, Fr. Kavanaugh needs to be refuted and criticized so that people like yourself can learn that he is espousing errors in contradiction with the Church's teaching. Perhaps God sent Fr. Kavanaugh to work for the Church, I don't know. But the evidence suggests that Fr. Kavanaugh has not seen fit to respond to that call since he chooses to reject what the Church teaches on these important topics and, further, tries to get others to follow him into his errors.

Anonymous said...

Marc I do not personally know Father K I do know that Catholic Priests are very well educated.
From what I have read from Father K are correct responses that can be backed up by the Church.
You are correct that I am not a Catholic Scholar but I have asked many questions on this blog.
I dont understand why the Author of the Blog who is a very learned Priest would allow false
teaching on his blog when he knows many who seek are answered by Fr. K. I also know
that a priest has a boss called the Bishop. I can't imagine the Bishop of Savannah allowing a
priest to teach false information. Father K is not a new priest and I am sure the Bishop knows him
well. I don't know you Marc are you also a priest?

Marc said...

I'm just a Catholic with a passion for studying and defending the faith. If you choose to believe a priest simply because he is a priest, I can't do anything about that. But I intend to continue to point out the errors of the priests who post here, when they make them.

My experience of the particular priest in question is contrary to yours, but I'll leave it at that. Suffice it to say, we have been having these same discussions here at this blog for going on 7 years now.

Marc said...

And, by the way, Anonymous, you could find priests who say the exact opposite of what Fr. Kavanaugh has said here. So the idea that "a priest said it, it just be true," is simply impossible. If you like, I could point you to several sermons online given by priests who are saying what I'm saying about these topics.

George said...


Our faith informs us about things we accept and believe and these are of a nature that can never be proven or disproven by science.
The multitude of references in Scripture, and also in the writings of Church Fathers and certain saints to a single set of parents who commited a transgression against Almighty God, and which each human descendant inherits, is not something to be disposed of in such a way which as to say that this never happened. Accept what the Church teaches in this matter.
Science tells us that there were two first elements, helium and hydrogen, from which all other elements in our Universe were formed. This is something science can speak to because it is within its realm. I don't concern myself with how this came about, but accept the fact that all other elements were descended from these first two.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Since St. Augustine and St. Pope John Paul II are on my side, I'll rest easy tonight.

Anonymous said...

Marc that is your right to continue to point our what you think is incorrect teaching .
All I know is that for 35 years I taught math. I was accountable to parents and my principal.
If I had taught math incorrectly I would have heard about it from my parents and from my principal.
If I had continued to teach incorrectly I would have lost my job.
Teaching what is true to the people of God is a much more important mission in life than teaching math.
If Father K was teaching incorrectly I am sure that the parish as well as his boss the Bishop would have corrected him.
If as you say this discussion has gone on for 7 years on this blog... then I am sure that if he were incorrect Father McD who is a very learned Priest would not have allowed false Catholic teaching on his site. I also feel just like with a teacher if the teacher is teaching something incorrect the boss will call them in. My boss would never have let me teach children incorrectly for 7 years and neither would the parents. I can't see Fr. McD and the Bishop allowing that either. Fr. K has answered every question that I have asked from his heart and from the Catholic Church. For me and I am sorry you disagree... for me he and Fr. McD are wonderful teachers.

Marc said...

For anyone who is still watching, please research Lateran Council IV, Council of Trent, Vatican I, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, and Pius XII on this topic to see what the Church has always taught.

Marc said...

Also, please read the findings of the 1909 Pontifical Biblical Commission, which presents binding teaching under pain of sin, according to Pope St. Pius X. For example:

In particular may the literal historical sense be called in doubt in the case of facts narrated in the same chapters (Genesis 1-3) which touch. . . the special creation of man; the formation of the first woman from the first man; the unity of the human race; the original felicity of our first parents in the state of justice, integrity, and immortality; the command given by God to man to test his obedience; the transgression of the divine command at the instigation of the devil under the form of a serpent; the degradation of our first parents from that primeval state of innocence; and the promise of a future Redeemer?

Answer: In the negative.

Jan said...

Anonymous, July 11, 2016 at 12:59 PM. If you can't see my attempt at some lighthearted humor then it is you that has a problem. I mean for goodness sake lighten up!

Jan said...

Anonymous 2 said, "Didn’t Pope St. John Paul II make it clear that the Church is open to the theory of biological evolution properly understood and that it is not wrong for a Catholic to recognize it as a valid theory (as I do for example)?" No doubt St John Paul II The Great did but it is equally open for Catholics not to accept it as a valid theory and to read the science on the other side, of which there is quite a bit if you bother to read it. I put it all out for Fr K some months ago. He and I just agreed to disagree on the subject. It is just another theory that I don't accept along with the theory of global warming as there is science on the other side that discredits it.

"The Piltdown Man was a paleoanthropological hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. These fragments consisted of those parts of a skull said to have been collected beginning in 1908, with an alleged accompanying jawbone added later, from a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England. It was given the Latin name Eoanthropus dawsoni ("Dawson's dawn-man", after the hoaxer/collector Charles Dawson acquired and exhibited the specimens). The questionable significance of the assemblage remained the subject of considerable controversy until it was conclusively exposed in 1953 as a forgery. It was found to have consisted of the altered mandible and some teeth of an orangutan deliberately combined with the cranium of a fully developed, though small-brained, modern human.

"The Piltdown hoax is prominent for two reasons: the attention it generated around the subject of human evolution, and the length of time, 45 years, that elapsed from its alleged initial discovery to its definitive exposure as a composite forgery."

Natural selection is also said to be scientifically impossible and there are scientists who through their research claim the earth is young and created in a short time.

Those who like to think they are descended from apes are welcome to their views. No doubt they visit their cousins from time to time in the zoo, and marvel how their ancestors somehow got the green light to evolve while their luckless cousins are still swinging through the trees of the jungle.

Anonymous said...

So now we are to believe that men chase women in order to retrieve that rib which was stolen from us ("the formation of the first woman from the first man") so that the woman could be "built up" around it?

Is there a ruling from some overreaching Roman dicastery on that one?

Marc said...

"Is there a ruling from some overreaching Roman dicastery on that one?"

What are you asking?

You took the quotation in your comment from a document by a Roman commission that was approved by a sainted pope. In particular, with regard to the document from which I quoted, Pope St. Pius X wrote: "We now declare and expressly enjoin that all Without exception are bound by an obligation of conscience to submit to the decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, whether already issued or to be issued hereafter, exactly as to the decrees of the Sacred Congregations which are on matters of doctrine and approved by the Pope; nor can anyone who by word or writing attacks the said decrees avoid the note both of disobedience and of rashness or be therefore without grave fault."

In other words, this is what the Catholic Church proposes for us to believe about the creation of the first man and the first woman. We are free to accept or reject the teaching, but that does not change the reality that the teaching is true and incurs upon the doubter "grave fault" for rejecting it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - I did not agree to disagree with you. If someone said, "That painting by da Vinci is called 'The Minnie Lisa,' and I said, "No, it is the 'Mona Lisa'," and this person would not accept correction based on the facts, I would not "agree to disagree." The facts are not altered just because someone ignores them.

EG You are continuing to use "theory" wrongly. Despite having been corrected - and you can check the accuracy of the correction easily - you choose to use "theory" incorrectly.

Piltdown man has nothing to do with the theory of evolution, unless you are suggesting that all the evidence for evolution in a hoax. If that's your contention, you're going to have to provide a whole lot of evidence to sustain that idea.

Natural selection is not impossible, nor has it been shown to be impossible. The very fact that mutations occur in the replication of genetic material is proof that natural selection is not only possible, but that it occurs.

Or you can say, "I choose to ignore the evidence and believe what I want to believe."

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Yes, the Pilkdown Man was a fraud. So was the Donation of Constantine. Should we now reject the authority of the Pope over the Roman Catholic Church?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donation_of_Constantine

And yet again, you follow your modus operandi of cherry picking quotes and presenting them out of context, this time from the Wikipedia article (or perhaps you just lifted the quote from another website that did the cherry picking). As I keep on trying to explain, Jan, we cannot do this. It is intellectually dishonest. You want to present the other side of the evolution debate and give a fair hearing to the evidence against the theory. I agree. That is as it should be. This is what critical thinking requires. The same is true for global warming or anything else. And it is true for the Pilkdown Man episode. So, one ought also to note that, according to the same Wikipedia source:
_____________

Almost from the outset, Woodward's reconstruction of the Piltdown fragments was strongly challenged by some researchers. . . .From the outset, some scientists expressed skepticism about the Piltdown find (see above). G.S. Miller, for example, observed in 1915 that "deliberate malice could hardly have been more successful than the hazards of deposition in so breaking the fossils as to give free scope to individual judgment in fitting the parts together.” In the decades prior to its exposure as a forgery in 1953, scientists increasingly regarded Piltdown as an enigmatic aberration inconsistent with the path of hominid evolution as demonstrated by fossils found elsewhere. . . . The Piltdown man hoax succeeded so well because, at the time of its discovery, the scientific establishment believed that the large modern brain preceded the modern omnivorous diet, and the forgery provided exactly that evidence. It has also been thought that nationalism and cultural prejudice played a role in the less-than-critical acceptance of the fossil as genuine by some British scientists. It satisfied European expectations that the earliest humans would be found in Eurasia, and the British, it has been claimed also wanted a first Briton to set against fossil hominids found elsewhere in Europe. . . .

In 1912, the majority of the scientific community believed the Piltdown man was the “missing link” between apes and humans.[citation needed] However, over time the Piltdown man lost its validity, as other discoveries such as Taung Child and Peking Man were found. R. W. Ehrich and G. M. Henderson note, “To those who are not completely disillusioned by the work of their predecessors, the disqualification of the Piltdown skull changes little in the broad evolutionary pattern. The validity of the specimen has always been questioned.” Eventually, during the 1940s and 1950s, more advanced dating technologies, such as the fluorine absorption test, proved scientifically that this skull was actually a fraud.

See further https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piltdown_Man


Anonymous said...

I'm simply asking if the Church has "defined" the Biblical assertion that Eve was created from Adam's rib.

Anonymous said...

I'm very concerned about Fr. Kavanaugh's belief as he clearly doesn't hold to a historical Adam & Eve or original human pair. From the Bible, it is clear that Adam is included in the genealogies and you cannot dismiss him as completely legend or myth(although the name Adam means man, so some symbolism in the name). Also, Paul is very clear in believing that Adam was a historical figure. Acts 17 and 1 Corinthians 15 shows this clearly. Paul also compares Adam to Jesus as a historical figure. How would Fr. Kavanaugh address this? Also, Catholics believe humans are persons with a body and a soul, so when does Fr. Kavanaugh believe a human soul came into existence? Souls don't evolve.

The population genetic science I read does show that all human DNA came from a pool of about 2,000 individuals. What it doesn't explain is how science can explain the vast diversity that we see over such a short period of time. The extrapolation is based on the theory of random mutation operating on natural selection. That part of evolution is in dispute but it's the best naturalistic explanation we have right now. I agree with Fr. Kavanaugh is right about mitochondrial Eve not proving a single mother but he didn't mention what geneticists call the "Y-chromosome Adam", the original male human. I read an article recently showing that the Y-chromosome Adam & Mitochondrial Eve could have lived at the same time. I'm sticking with the traditional view.
Chris de Georgia

Marc said...

"I'm simply asking if the Church has 'defined' the Biblical assertion that Eve was created from Adam's rib."

Yes. The literal historical meaning of the Genesis account of the creation of the first woman from the first man cannot be called into doubt.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Chris - We are here, which pretty much "proves" there were original humans. We all suffer from concupiscence, which pretty much proves Original Sin. (I don't use "prove" here in the scientific sense, since we don't "prove" matters of faith.)

The Biblical genealogies are not intended to be historical records, such as you might find at Ancestry.com. They are given to us to reveal that Jesus is the Messiah, the long awaited one, and that the human race is of divine origin.

St. Paul may very well have believed Adam was an historical figure, much as he might have believed that the world rested on great pillars or that there was a physical dome (firmament) above the surface of the earth that had gates that opened to let in rain from the "waters above the firmament" (Gen 1:6-8).

In these matters, St. Paul was following the cosmology of his time and place. But we have learned that that cosmology was, shall we say, lacking.

I have never heard of the Y Chromosome Adam, but Wikipedia notes that this "individual" is considered "the most recent common ancestor" which leaves wide open the possibility of previous non-common ancestors.

Souls are directly created by God - they do not evolve.

Anonymous said...

"Y chromosome analysis moves Adam closer to Eve"
Genetic studies push back age of men's most recent common ancestor


https://www.sciencenews.org/article/y-chromosome-analysis-moves-adam-closer-eve



Chris de Georgia

Anonymous said...

Oh Lord PLEASE forgive me for asking a Catholic about Adam and Eve.
Baptist Sarah

Anonymous said...

My next question was going to be about Noah and the ark.
Never mind.
Baptist Sarah

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Chris - Yes, but the most COMMON ancestor doesn't exclude older, more numerous ancestors. This was one of the faults in the "Eve" mitochondrial effort.

Jan said...

Fr K, we had a lengthy discourse and we ended it agreeing to disagree. We certainly didn't reach any consensus on the theory of evolution. I listed the scientists at the time who reject evolution and some of the evidence put forward. You didn't accept their views, but I do and I am not going to rehash the argument again. I don't accept any of the "evidence" that you put forward either.

I agree with what George says: "We have an all-powerful God who can do things and act in ways which are beyond our limited grasp. Don't allow the limits of what science can determine, limit your faith in what God can accomplish." And Marc who states, "Original sin came into the world as a result of the Fall of Adam and Eve". I haven't heard any Church teaching to contradict that.

Anonymous 2, I merely put the quote regarding the Piltdown Man debacle to show that evidence for evolution was fabricated. It took decades for science to admit to the fraud and so we don't even know today if we can rely on some of the evidence put forward. Certainly most of it is just theory.

Rather than cherry-picking, I am merely following how lawyers do their submissions and insert quotes to support their proposition. That is what they do and are never accused of cherry-picking which is a ridiculous assertion on your part. Nobody can quote enormous screeds of text and, in any event, it is a standalone argument: Piltdown Man was a fraud.

Jan said...

Baptist Sarah, you will see that the traditional Catholics among us support and uphold that God created man according to what is said in Genesis. The liberal Catholics - such as Fr Kavanaugh and Anonymous 2 - believe in evolution. I also believe in Noah's Ark and I am sure Fr K will go into convulsions when he hears that.

Anonymous said...

Joshue 10:12-13: "It was then, when the LORD delivered up the Amorites to the Israelites, that Joshua prayed to the LORD, and said in the presence of Israel: Sun, stand still at Gibeon, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon! The sun stood still, the moon stayed,while the nation took vengeance on its foes. This is recorded in the Book of Jashar. The sun halted halfway across the heavens; not for an entire day did it press on."

Marc, can we call into doubt the "literal historical" meaning of this passage? Or must we believe that it is the movement of the sun that determines the length of a day?

Lulu said...

Noah's Ark is now located just off KY-36 (Exit 154 on I-75) in Kentucky. For an entrance fee of JUST $40.00 for adults and $28.00 for children, you can have ALL your questions about Noah, the Ark, etc., answered!

Marc said...

Anonymous at 6:34, you can call into doubt the literal historical meaning of that passage.

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

The Church believes that evolution of species is a fact, what is does not accept is that man came from apes. It is not necessary to believe in a Genesis literally, or metaphorically, either way does not affect our faith. Genesis shows what the Church believes in the creed, "I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and all that is seen and unseen"
how God chose to create from a point of faith is not important, that he did create and is The Creator, is what is important. Catholics ask what does scripture mean, Protestants say what scripture says, what is more important the literal word or the meaning God is providing us, it is true that some scriptures are to be literally understood and other are not, that is why the interpretation of scripture is the responsibility of the Church and not the individual. Here is the Churches official position on evolution. It is something all Christians should read.

http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis.html

Anonymous said...

Oh Jan lets not start with Noah's ark. ha
Lets just go on a field trip with Lulu since she knows the location.
Peace to all of you. I am not a Catholic but I do love all of you.
Baptist Sarah

Anonymous said...

Marc, why that one but not the other?

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

“Rather than cherry-picking, I am merely following how lawyers do their submissions and insert quotes to support their proposition. That is what they do and are never accused of cherry-picking which is a ridiculous assertion on your part.”

Two points.

First, I was unaware that our conversations on this Blog were supposed to be set up as a type of “adversarial system” in which we are to act as advocates representing just one side of an issue who therefore try to “prove their case” to the reader as a type of judge or jury. I was under the illusion that we were interested in an impartial, objective search for the truth of a matter. Everyone take note: From now on feel free to present evidence and arguments just as lawyers do.

Second, though, everyone -- when you do that, please be sure to observe, analogously, the relevant provisions in Rule 3.3 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Candor Towards the Tribunal):

Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal

Advocate

(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:

(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;

(2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; . . .




Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gerbert - No evolutionist has ever said that humans descended from apes. This is one of THE most common misunderstandings around.

"Humans and great apes had a common ancestor about 5 million years ago. Humans and monkeys had a common ancestor about 50 million years ago. Nowhere, except in the most illiterate anti-evolution literature, will you find a claim that humans evolved from monkeys." (Top Ten Myths About Evolution (And One Extra), Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay)

Anonymous said...

Father Kavanaugh aren't you confusing concupiscence with the doctrine of Original Sin? Those are different ideas. Concupiscence is the general coveting and craving that sin produces but the doctrine of Original Sin came from St. Augustine which he makes clear that Original Sin comes from Adam. In Adam’s sin, we all fell, and so we share the guilt of Adam’s sin as well as a corrupted human nature inherited from Adam. So all persons are comprised in the sin of Adam. When Adam fell, you and I fell. We bear the guilt and the responsibility for Adam’s sin as well as the proclivity to sin that we have inherited from Adam.

Catholics today still hold the Augustinian view. The catechism on Original Sin affirms this. So, do you, Fr. Kavanaugh, believe this doctrine or not?

With regard to Paul, he actually teaches this as doctrine. It can't be explained away as just a belief based on an ancient understanding of cosmology.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22. Paul says, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Romans 5:12-21. Paul says,
Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned— sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

Chris de Georgia

qwikness said...

Father Kavanaugh,
When does allegory end and when does history begin in Genesis? Did Abraham exist? Were the Israelites slaves in Egypt?

Marc said...

Anonymous @ 1:49, because the document from which I have quoted here is specifically addressing the historical nature of the first three chapters of Genesis.

Marc said...

Gerbert, the Church most certainly does not "believe that evolution of species is a fact." Humani Generis does not teach that evolution is a fact or propose it as a teaching of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...
DJR - You can't use scriptural quotes to "refute" scientific data. On the other hand, you can't use scientific data to prove or refute matters of faith.


Who is using scriptural quotes to refute scientific data? The data support a position that humans descend from one set of parents.

And our Faith demands such a construct because, to deny it, is to deny original sin.

If people not descended from Adam have died, then you need to explain why.

There are only two possibilities:

1. God created those people sinful.
2. God created those people sinless and they later sinned.

Number 1 is not tenable, so your only default is number 2.

But that position is not tenable either because those people would be unaffected by Adam's sin.

Saint Paul is clear that, by the sin of one man, death entered the world. Any other viewpoint is erroneous.

DJR

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... Since St. Augustine and St. Pope John Paul II are on my side, I'll rest easy tonight.

And since God is on my side, as well as Marc's, we'll rest much easier tonight than you will.

DJR

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Chris and qwikness: If you are asking me if I believe that the doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Savior of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ, then, yes, I believe this. "What divine revelation makes known to us agrees with experience. Examining his heart, man finds that he has inclinations toward evil (concupiscence) too, and is engulfed by manifold ills which cannot come from his good Creator." (Gaudium et spes, 13)

If you are asking me if I think the accounts of creation and the fall are literal history, then, no, I don't believe this. CCC 390: "The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents."

Well, you might ask, when the CCC speaks of "first parents," doesn't that mean one historical pair named Adam and Eve? I would say no, not necessarily. The Bible is full of idioms, literary forms, that must be understood in their historical context - they are idioms from another culture in another time - if we want to discover, "...what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words." (CCC 109) "In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression." (CCC 110)

Among the literary genres found in the Scriptures are myth, legend, debate, fiction, Gospel, parable, allegory, letters, poetry, and apocalyptic. If I read mythology and think I am reading history, or if I read metaphor and think I am reading narrative, or if I read fiction and think I am reading parable, then I will easily misunderstand the meaning intended by a) the human author and b) God.

more...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

more...

God can and does use these various literary forms to reveal to us His Truth. Just because a section of the Bible is mythology or metaphor or fiction does not mean that what is being revealed isn't Truth.

Paul does not teach as doctrine that there was one man named Adam at the beginning of the human race. That wasn't his intention, since he was not speaking to anthropogenesis but to the reality of sin and the need for a redeemer. We read in the Book of Joshua (10:13) that the sun stood still, making the day longer and thus enabling the Israelites to defeat their enemies. Are we to believe that the Book of Joshua teaches as doctrine that it is the movement of the sun that governs the length of days? No, we are not. The passage teaches us the providential assistance of God that the Israelites received, not the physical nature of the solar system.

When we read "If your hand offends you, cut if off!" (Matt 5:30), are we to understand this as a divine sanction for maiming those who steal? No. It means, "If you have a habit of stealing, cut it out!"

This kind of careful reading is also applicable to magisterial documents. Some have argued that the clear language of the Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum (Pope St. Pius V - July 14, 1570) forbids "in perpetuity" any and all changes to the missal of 1570. There are passages in Quo Primum that, on the face, appear to support this prohibition. "We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely,..." and "We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force..."

But, when one understands the use of language and the historical circumstances of 1570 - it was just 53 years after Luther nailed his theses to the church door - then the meaning of the words becomes more understandable. Although Quo Primum says, plainly, IN PERPETUITY, it does n

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - You used scriptural quotes to refute scientific data.

I wrote about polygeny, a scientific concept. You, then, cited Romans 5:12.

I don't know what scientific data you have that supports that humans descend from one set of parents.

If there were humans other than one, singular pair, is there any reason to think that they, too, did not engage in sinful behavior? I say "No" since we know that all (humans) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

Yes I am well aware of this common ancestors theory of evolution, not wanting to get long winded about it. Suffice to say the Church does not believe man descended from a common ancestor of apes or monkey's. How I understand Humani Generis, in brief, man was created when God breathed a soul into him. Is not Gods soul his image and likeness.





To say that species do not evolve to adjust to their environment is ridiculous, while their are issues with the theory as a whole, it is quite clear much of it has been proven true. Species either adapt or die out. Out and out rejection of science is foolish, both theology and science are ways we understand God, both stem from the same source. I am sorry but a literal interpretation of Genesis is foolish, not saying it could not happen that way, but evidence proves it did not.

George said...

Father Kavanaugh:
"If there were humans other than one, singular pair, is there any reason to think that they, too, did not engage in sinful behavior? I say "No" since we know that all (humans) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

Sinful behavior presupposes certain necessaries, such as the knowledge that something is morally wrong to do, and the capacity
to choose to commit the immoral sinful act. A rational intellect and soul and properly formed conscience is necessary. An animal for example,
cannot sin.
In accepting evolutionary creation, it must be acknowledged that in the course of human development there was a time when what preceded the fully human man, who eventually by Divine Providence and action came about, there existed a being that was more animal-like. A soul did not evolve in man and so it was necessary at some point that that it be infused. At some point through Divine action, there came about an Adam and Eve who could sin and unfortunately did. Our first parents had to know that they were created by God and that it was sinfully wrong to disobey Him. This had to come from God Himself. One of the consequences of their sin is that all subsequent human beings would inherit it and its effects. In this we see both the justice of God and His mercy.
We need not engage in arguments about how the human life was created or how long that process took. In fact the we could not continue to exist if God did not sustain us in our existence. God gave man an intellect to understand the mechanisms of Creation and whatever transcendant things He chooses to reveal to him. God in His generosity, in the way he created Existence, gave man an inexaustible field of knowledge for the intellect of man to study.
Truth is in the domains of both Scientific discovery and our Faith because both exist because of the action of God, who is Truth itself.

Anonymous said...

Oh no did somebody ask about Abraham?
This is going to be interesting.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc (at 5:26 p.m.):

In his October 22, 1996 Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Pope St. John Paul II said this about Humani Generis and the theory of evolution:

__________________

3. Before offering a few more specific reflections on the theme of the origin of life and evolution, I would remind you that the magisterium of the Church has already made some pronouncements on these matters, within her own proper sphere of competence. I will cite two such interventions here.

In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points.

For my part, when I received the participants in the plenary assembly of your Academy on October 31, 1992, I used the occasion—and the example of Galileo—to draw attention to the necessity of using a rigorous hermeneutical approach in seeking a concrete interpretation of the inspired texts. It is important to set proper limits to the understanding of Scripture, excluding any unseasonable interpretations which would make it mean something which it is not intended to mean. In order to mark out the limits of their own proper fields, theologians and those working on the exegesis of the Scripture need to be well informed regarding the results of the latest scientific research.

4. Taking into account the scientific research of the era, and also the proper requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani Generis treated the doctrine of "evolutionism" as a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and serious study, alongside the opposite hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions for this study: one could not adopt this opinion as if it were a certain and demonstrable doctrine, and one could not totally set aside the teaching Revelation on the relevant questions. He also set out the conditions on which this opinion would be compatible with the Christian faith—a point to which I shall return.

Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

What is the significance of a theory such as this one? To open this question is to enter into the field of epistemology. A theory is a meta-scientific elaboration, which is distinct from, but in harmony with, the results of observation. With the help of such a theory a group of data and independent facts can be related to one another and interpreted in one comprehensive explanation. The theory proves its validity by the measure to which it can be verified. It is constantly being tested against the facts; when it can no longer explain these facts, it shows its limits and its lack of usefulness, and it must be revised.

[continued]

Anonymous 2 said...

Moreover, the elaboration of a theory such as that of evolution, while obedient to the need for consistency with the observed data, must also involve importing some ideas from the philosophy of nature.

And to tell the truth, rather than speaking about the theory of evolution, it is more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution. The use of the plural is required here—in part because of the diversity of explanations regarding the mechanism of evolution, and in part because of the diversity of philosophies involved. There are materialist and reductionist theories, as well as spiritualist theories. Here the final judgment is within the competence of philosophy and, beyond that, of theology.

5. The magisterium of the Church takes a direct interest in the question of evolution, because it touches on the conception of man, whom Revelation tells us is created in the image and likeness of God. . . . Pius XII underlined the essential point: if the origin of the human body comes through living matter which existed previously, the spiritual soul is created directly by God ("animas enim a Deo immediate creari catholica fides non retimere iubet"). (Humani Generis)

As a result, the theories of evolution which, because of the philosophies which inspire them, regard the spirit either as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a simple epiphenomenon of that matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. They are therefore unable to serve as the basis for the dignity of the human person.
______________________

See further: http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP961022.HTM



Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

P.S. In the above extract from Pope St. John Paul’s address, notice in particular the following passage:

“Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical [Humani Generis], some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.”

Anonymous said...

Soooooo is the Devil in the story of Adam and Eve also to be taken literally.
Would everyone agree that no matter the origin of Adam and Eve the Devil in the story
is not to be a myth. He had to be the one to tempt them because everything on Earth was good at the time.
Something had to introduce Adam and Eve to Evil.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, you never respond to an actual post. My statement was to back up the fact that Piltdown Man was a fake. Full stop. There is no evidence to contradict that. It took decades for science to disprove Piltdown Man and they obviously didn't bother looking into it very deeply but accepted it because they wanted that missing link. It was found to be made up of bones from different ages, which shows how science is not what it is cracked up to be if it can be fooled so easily.

Therefore, you and Fr K may currently be basing your views on faked evidence that will not show up for many decades to come. Certainly those who relied on Piltdown Man did just that.

You made a point about "cherry-picking", so I merely pointed out to you that, as you claim to be a lawyer, you should know that it is rudimentary to use quotes to support a contention. Also, your style on this blog is in fact adversarial. You never respond to facts but use smoke-screen tactics to divert away from the facts.

If you have any facts to counter that Piltdown Man was a fake I would be happy to see them.


Jan said...

Anonymous 2, July 13, 2016 at 6:34 AM, interesting that you should make your response on one of the anniversaries of Our Lady apparitions at Fatima - a Church-approved apparition.

How do you explain that the thousands who were there at Fatima saw the sun dance in the sky and defying the laws of physics.

"The Miracle of the Sun (Portuguese: O Milagre do Sol) was an event which occurred just after midday on Sunday 13 October 1917, reportedly attended by some 30,000 to 100,000 people who were gathered near Fátima, Portugal. Several newspaper reporters were in attendance and they took testimony from many people who claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity.

According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes. The three children (Lúcia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto) who originally claimed to have seen Our Lady of Fátima also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.[1]

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930."

Nothing is impossible to God. That is what many Catholics these days seem to have well forgotten. If we had the grain of faith the size of a mustard seed we could move mountains and do what the apostles did in their day.

Marc said...

A2, speeches by popes have zero authority. Whatever John Paul's thoughts on evolution, the Church does not teach that evolution is true.

Why are you so quick to put faith in the opinion of one Pope and not in the multitude of actual papal and conciliar teachings throughout the centuries?

Anonymous said...

I CANNOT believe that Marc, TJM, and Gene teach RCIA classes at St. Josephs church.
They are not priests and yet they contradict everything priests say. They seem to HATE the Pope.
They cannot agree even on how to interpret Scripture. This is a VERY BIG DEAL to honest souls
that are seeking to enter the Catholic Church. They are instructed by people who even use racist remarks,
vulgar language, and call priests the Devil. I wonder if the new Priest at St. Joseph knows of their character.
He should read this blog to see what kind of people TEACH or TAUGHT the Catholic Faith in Macon.
With this type of hatred for priests, the pope and it seems a lack of understanding of the faith no wonder
the Catholic Faith is in such trouble. I CANNOT BELIEVE THESE MEN HAVE BEEN TEACHING RCIA CLASSES.

Anonymous said...

Marc "Speeches by Popes have zero authority" Really..... He is the head of the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit chooses the pope that the church needs during this time in History. You love the speeches Popes make if you "agree" with them, but if you do not agree with them they are not "REAL" popes. If you cannot agree with the head of the church on ANYTHING how can you claim to have all the answers. People cannot stand Pope Francis because he is trying to teach us how to love and accept all people. They can't stand it that he dresses humbly and the youth love him. If we do not change as a church with a Good Gentle Pope leading us then this church will die. These old priests and parish members that are so strict will soon be in heaven. The youth are not drawn to their racists and "Im the only one in Heaven" attitudes. So when these older members who have fought their entire lives to return to the "Before Vat 11" period are gone so is the Catholic Church. I am so tired of hearing "Before Vat 11". That was %) Years ago. Most people in the Churches were not even alive then. Open the windows of the church and let some fresh air in. Choose well who is teaching these people in RCIA the Catholic Faith.

Marc said...

Jan, Anonymous 2 is not a lawyer, he is a law professor. There is a world of difference between the two.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gerbert - Again you bring up monkeys: "Suffice to say the Church does not believe man descended from a common ancestor of apes or monkey's."

The Church has no problem with the notion that man evolved. In this, the Church is not competent to say what the common ancestor was. That is a matter of anthropogenesis (science) not faith.

Jan - My understanding of Darwinian evolution and evolutionary biology in general is not in any way based on the Piltdown man. The common understanding of evolution among scientists is not based on Piltdown man.

Marc - To say "speeches by popes have zero authority" is disingenuous. If a pope were to give a speech in which he waxed eloquent on the nature of the Eucharist, on the Real Presence of Christ, on the Divine grace available through proper reception of the Eucharist - is this speech without authority? Hardly.

(If you want to discuss what is and what is not authoritative, we can get into the status of pronouncements from the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Can this Commission have been made "authoritative" by a papal decree? One wonders...)

Pope John Paul's words to the Pontifical Academy of Science reflects the Church's thinking. Dare I say it reflects the evolution of the Church's thinking on Darwinian evolution, which Pius XII hisself reflected in Humani Generis. Dan O'Leary writes in "Roman Catholicism and Modern Science," "A remarkable feature of this authoritative papal document (Huamni Generis) was that is explicitly mentioned the theory of evolution. This was unprecedented."

O'Leary continued, "The pope's main interest was not the scientific theory but with the extrapolation of evolutionary ideas beyond the realm of natural science."

Jan said...

If Anonymous 2 and Fr K had been alive at the time I am sure they would have been the first to turn up for the unveiling of the memorial to Piltdown Man (supposedly "discovered" in 1912:

"On 23 July 1938, at Barkham Manor, Piltdown, Sir Arthur Keith unveiled a memorial to mark the site where Piltdown Man was discovered by Charles Dawson. Sir Arthur finished his speech saying:

So long as man is interested in his long past history, in the vicissitudes which our early forerunners passed through, and the varying fare which overtook them, the name of Charles Dawson is certain of remembrance. We do well to link his name to this picturesque corner of Sussex—the scene of his discovery. I have now the honour of unveiling this monolith dedicated to his memory.[10]

The inscription on the memorial stone reads:

Here in the old river gravel Mr Charles Dawson, FSA found the fossil skull of Piltdown Man, 1912–1913, The discovery was described by Mr Charles Dawson and Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 1913–15."

IT WASN'T UNTIL 1953 SOME 40 YEARS LATER THAT THE FORGERY WAS DISCLOSED:

"In November 1953, Time magazine published evidence gathered variously by Kenneth Page Oakley, Sir Wilfrid Edward Le Gros Clark and Joseph Weiner proving that the Piltdown Man was a forgery[12] and demonstrating that the fossil was a composite of three distinct species. It consisted of a human skull of medieval age, the 500-year-old lower jaw of an orangutan and chimpanzee fossil teeth. Someone had created the appearance of age by staining the bones with an iron solution and chromic acid. Microscopic examination revealed file-marks on the teeth, and it was deduced from this that someone had modified the teeth to a shape more suited to a human diet.

The Piltdown man hoax succeeded so well because, at the time of its discovery, the scientific establishment believed that the large modern brain preceded the modern omnivorous diet, and the forgery provided exactly that evidence. It has also been thought that nationalism and cultural prejudice played a role in the less-than-critical acceptance of the fossil as genuine by some British scientists.[7] It satisfied European expectations that the earliest humans would be found in Eurasia, and the British, it has been claimed,[7] also wanted a first Briton to set against fossil hominids found elsewhere in Europe."

There is plenty of science to debunk the theory of evolution and the miracles we hear of show that nothing is impossible to God and he is not constrained by the laws of physics. So those who believe in creationism have got more to rely on than those who rely on an unproven scientific theory that has in many cases been based on fraud.

Jan said...

There is quite a scathing critique of St John Paul II The Great's comments on evolution, saying that it is based on Teilhard de Chardin:

"Perhaps the most influential evolutionist among Catholic theologians was the Jesuit priest, Teilhard de Chardin, now considered in effect to be almost the "patron saint" of the New Age movement with his strong pantheistic evolutionism. Teilhard was involved in the controversial discoveries of both Piltdown Man and Peking Man, and vigorously promoted total evolutionism all his life, greatly influencing such leading secular evolutionists as Theodosius Dobzhansky, George Gaylord Simpson, and Sir Julian Huxley. His books were banned at one time by the Catholic church but have apparently become respectable, and even very influential among Catholics during the reigns of the recent more liberal popes.

There have been many other leading evolutionary scientists in the domain of Catholicism, and this description would certainly apply to most of the scientists of the Pontifical Academy. On the other hand, we need to recognize that there are many strong creationists, not only among lay Catholics, but also among Catholic scientists as well. We could mention Dr. Guy Berthault of France, for example, whose studies on sedimentation have been profoundly significant in refuting geological uniformitarianism. Two Italian creationists, Dr. Roberto Fondi (paleontologist) and Dr. Giuseppe Sermonti (geneticist) have published important scientific books and papers refuting evolution. There are many others.

Jan said...

PART 2

In this country, Dr. Wolfgang Smith, born in Austria but educated in this country (at Cornell, Purdue, and Columbia, in physics and mathematics) and having served since 1968 as Professor of Mathematics at Oregon State, after previous faculty positions at M.l.T. and U.C.L.A., has written a devastating critique of de Chardin's teachings and evolutionism in general. In this book, he says that the doctrine of macroevolution "is totally bereft of scientific sanction" (Teilhardism and the new Religion. Tan Books, 1988, p. 5; emphasis his.) He then adds that "there exists to this day not a shred of bona fide scientific evidence in support of the thesis that macroevolutionary transformations have ever occurred." (Ibid., p. 6.)

Jan said...

PART 3

It is too bad that Pope John Paul II (who is not a scientist) did not consult such real Catholic scientists as Wolfgang Smith before glibly stating, as he did, that "new knowledge leads us to recognize in the theory of evolution more than a hypothesis." Just what new knowledge would that be, Pope John Paul II? Possibly the Mars rock? Or the fantasy of a walking whale?

One wonders whether he might be thinking of Teilhard's famous definition of evolution when he says it is more than a hypothesis. Here is what Teilhard said:

Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all systems, all hypotheses must bow . . . .Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow. (The Phenomenon of Man. Harper and Row 1965, p. 219.)

Evolution was, to all intents and purposes, Teilhard's "god," and his goal was globalism, a unified world government, culture, and religion, with all religions merged into one.


http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-pope/

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - You used scriptural quotes to refute scientific data. I wrote about polygeny, a scientific concept. You, then, cited Romans 5:12.

No, I didn't use Sacred Scripture to refute "scientific data," because "scientific data," so-called, has never proven anything in this regard. Thus, there is nothing to refute.

What you are referencing is a theory ... an unprovable one, I might add... and nothing more.

And it is a theory based on philosophy. Being based on philosophy, the theory is therefore refutable by Truth, and Truth is obtained via Revelation.

I note that first you call it "data," then you call it a "concept." The second word is more apt.

The whole thing is a figment of the imagination of the godless people who constructed the idea and sold it to the ignorant masses who have been distancing themselves from Christianity more and more for centuries.

For those who think it's more than a concept, all well and good. Let them prove it.

They have yet to do so.

DJR

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan (2:49 a.m.):

No-one is denying that Piltdown Man was a fake. You now elaborate that “Therefore, you and Fr K may currently be basing your views on faked evidence that will not show up for many decades to come. Certainly those who relied on Piltdown Man did just that.” I do not disagree with this. One has to be careful in evaluating claimed scientific evidence in general. In your original post you just quoted a passage about Piltdown Man being a fake, as if this per se discredited the theory of evolution, and by inference all the other genuine evidence as well, which clearly it does not do.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

P.S.I suggest that many of your posts quoting from various sources violate the spirit of the ABA Model Rule 3.3 and therefore is not what lawyers are supposed to do.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan (2:57 a.m.):

I have looked for an official statement of the Vatican on the Miracle of the Sun itself but cannot find it. Do you have a source for this? I would like to read the text to know the precise terms of the acceptance of the Miracle.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

“Why are you so quick to put faith in the opinion of one Pope and not in the multitude of actual papal and conciliar teachings throughout the centuries?”

Earlier popes did not know about the results of the relevant scientific investigations. Pope St. John Paul II did.

More fundamentally, let me ask: Why do you (if you do) view the theory of evolution as so threatening to the Faith?




Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

“Why are you so quick to put faith in the opinion of one Pope and not in the multitude of actual papal and conciliar teachings throughout the centuries?”

Earlier popes did not know about the results of the relevant scientific investigations. Pope St. John Paul II did.

More fundamentally, let me ask: Why do you (if you do) view the theory of evolution as so threatening to the Faith?



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - I don't know why you think Piltdown man matters. It doesn't. Darwinian evolution is not based on it, and no one who believes in evolution thinks it does.

Pope John Paul II did not base his understanding of evolution on Teilhard. I don't know where you get this idea.

I don't know where you get the idea that Peking Man is "controversial." It's not.

The books of Teilhard were never "banned." A monitum was placed on his works, meaning that they were accessible with the permission of one's religious superior of bishop.

The "new knowledge" referred to by Pope John Paul II could have been Aristotle's thought that "all living things could be arranged on a ladder of increasing complexity called the "scala naturae."

Maybe it was Patrick Matthew's theory of natural selection.

Maybe it included Alfred Wegener's thoughts on plate techtonics.

Or maybe he consulted with members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and garnered from them the notion that there has been, since Darwin, a growing body of evidence that supports evolution.

DJR - You are confusing "hypothesis" and "theory." An hypothesis is "a tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others;..."

A theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena..."

The data that form the basis for evolution are not philosophical, but material. They include fossils, homologies, distribution of organisms in time and space, evidence by example. These are not based in philosophy, but in observations of the material world. You can read more about these at http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/lines_01



Marc said...

You can relax, Anonymous. I no longer teach RCIA at St. Joseph Church because I moved. You can find some of my classes on YouTube, though. I think Fr. McDonald can vouch for the fact that all my classes were 100% orthodox, including the class I taught in creation.

I don't hate the pope. I love the pope and the papacy.

You don't have a good handle on the way the hierarchy works in the Catholic Church.

Marc said...

A2, the Teillard connection, as mentioned by Jan, should suffice to demonstrate the ends of misguided evolutionary thinking leading minds to error. The state of scientific investigation at any given period does not change the Church's teaching in the slightest. The advent of evolutionary theories does not change that reality.

See also DJR's response above.

Finally, listen to this sermon from a missionary priest. The sermon is called Evolution: The Religion of the Antichrist.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... DJR - You are confusing "hypothesis" and "theory." An hypothesis is "a tentative theory or supposition provisionally adopted to explain certain facts, and to guide in the investigation of others;..."

Taken from an online dictionary: "Theory. A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. Darwin's theory of evolution."


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... The data that form the basis for evolution are not philosophical, but material.

No such data exist. That is a figment of fevered imaginations.

The "theory" of evolution is based on errant philosophy, not science, and is grounded in materialism.

A person who thinks properly could never embrace it.

DJR

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc (9:24 a.m.):

“Anonymous 2 is not a lawyer, he is a law professor. There is a world of difference between the two.”

The two are not mutually exclusive—you know, like evolution and faith. =)

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc (at 8:00 p.m.):

Thank you for posting the link. I listened to the talk and found it quite thought-provoking (albeit somewhat one-sided). It got me thinking again about a problem that has bothered me for quite a while—the apparent cruelty and suffering of the animal world. As the talk suggests, this can be explained if it is the result of the Fall of the entire creation due to Original Sin. But how can apparently cruel and random natural selection be viewed as the mechanism chosen by a good and omnipotent God whose creation was “good?” This is a really tough question and I been thinking hard about it and researching it. Here is an excellent discussion that incidentally sees such cruelty and suffering equally as a problem for Young Earth Creationists. The comments that follow the essay are also well worth pondering:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2014/04/08/and-it-was-good-but-red-in-tooth-and-claw-rjs/

I can also highly recommend the following book, which I read several years ago in connection with the author’s visit to deliver a lecture at Mercer (the author is a professing Christian who headed up the Human Genome Project):

https://www.amazon.com/Language-God-Scientist-Presents-Evidence/dp/1416542744


Jan said...

Anonymous 2, sorry to hear you are hindered by "the spirit of the ABA Model Rule 3.3". Unfortunately for you, that doesn't pertain under English Common Law ...

Jan said...

Anon 2 Fatima:

"The Miracle of the Sun (Portuguese: The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930. On 13 October 1951, the papal legate, Cardinal Tedeschini, told the million people gathered at Fátima that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.[2][3]"

"Pope Pius XII granted a Canonical Coronation to the venerated image enshrined at the Chapel of the Apparitions on 13 May 1946 via his Papal Legate, Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella. The reported apparitions at Fátima were officially declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church, which commemorates the event on the same date. The events at Fátima gained fame due partly to elements of the secrets, prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to the Second World War and possibly more global wars in the future. Chief among these is also the alleged urgent need for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"In virtue of considerations made known, and others which for reason of brevity we omit; humbly invoking the Divine Spirit and placing ourselves under the protection of the most Holy Virgin, and after hearing the opinions of our Rev. Advisors in this diocese, we hereby: 1) Declare worthy of belief, the visions of the shepherd children in the Cova da Iria, parish of Fátima, in this diocese, from 13 May to 13 October 1917. 2) Permit officially the cult of Our Lady of Fátima.", Bishop of Leiria-Fátima, 13 October 1930."

Two of the children are now counted among the blessed: Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto

A good article showing photos of what happened on the day can be found here:

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/the-day-the-sun-danced-fatima-1917

The hundredth anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima take place next year.
St John Paul II The Great was wounded on the anniversary of Fatima 13 May and took the bullets to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima the following year.

The children were given a vision of hell during one of the visions:

"The siblings were victims of the great 1918 influenza epidemic that swept through Europe that year. In October 1918, Mary supposedly appeared to them and said she would take them to heaven soon.[3] Both lingered for many months, insisting on walking to church to make Eucharistic devotions and prostrating themselves to pray for hours, kneeling with their heads on the ground as they said the angel had instructed them to do.[2]

Francisco declined hospital treatment on April 3, 1919, and died at home the next day. Jacinta was moved from one hospital to another in an attempt to save her life, which she insisted was futile. She developed purulent pleurisy and endured an operation in which two of her ribs were removed. Because of the condition of her heart, she could not be anesthetized and suffered terrible pain, which she said would help to convert many sinners. On February 19, 1920, Jacinta asked the hospital chaplain who heard her confession to bring her Holy Communion and give her the Anointing of the Sick because she was going to die "the next night". He told her that her condition was not that serious and that he would return the next day. The next day Jacinta was dead; she had died, as she had often said she would, alone.[5]

In 1920, shortly before her death at age nine, Jacinta Marto reportedly discussed the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary with a then 12-year-old Lúcia Santos and said:

When you are to say this, don't go and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; that people are to ask her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at his side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God entrusted it to her.[6]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacinta_and_Francisco_Marto

Jan said...

For Fr K:

Why Atheists Like Evolution

The story of creation provides us with the necessary information on the origin of man – the starting point for any history of mankind. Unfortunately, history textbooks, magazine articles, and those familiar, glossy, well-illustrated volumes put out by a number of popular publishing houses with wide distribution tell a vastly different story than that which Moses related in the book of Genesis. In order to explain away the necessity of thanking God for our existence, redemption, and preservation, the materialists of our world have invented a false system based on the absurd mental meanderings of the medical school dropout and naturalist Charles Darwin, a false system called the Theory of Evolution. This theory states that non-living matter gave life to itself. The resulting little bits of mindless jelly then evolved into fish. Some fish climbed onto land and became amphibians, which either grew feathers and flew or developed hair and eventually became monkeys. At the end of this chain of impossible transformations we reach the origin of man.

Darwin's theories became a valuable part of an atheistic movement best described as naturalism which claims that nature is the source of all that exists and not God. The value of all these ideas, though hardly original, was recognized by others in the battle against Christianity during the late nineteenth century. Coinciding with the rise of Marxism, the Theory of Evolution was promoted by many well-known atheists and declared enemies of Christian civilization. In fact, evolutionism became one of the basic tenets of communism. 1

Jan said...

For Fr K PART 2

Where Is the Scientific Proof?

From the outset, let it be understood that there is no sound scientific foundation for Darwin’s wild speculations. Although several sciences have been consulted to provide proof, the only direct evidence acceptable would be the discovery of fossil remains of some intermediate creature between one species and another.

Evolutionists have been digging up the ground throughout the world for decades looking for skeletal remains or imprints in sedimentary rock. If living things evolved step by step, there should be millions of halfway creatures. None have been found, although several have been manufactured in the monkey field. Actually, the fossil record shows exactly the opposite: All the varied species that have existed on earth appear suddenly, fully formed and developed, which, of course, is consistent with the creation of Genesis.

Discovery of Fraud and Deceit: Piltdown Man

In 1912 two scientists announced that they had discovered the "missing link" in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England. This consisted of a human skull missing the face and the jawbone of an ape having the teeth worn like human teeth. The age of his find was estimated at 500,000 years. Some experts, like the great French authority on paleontology, Marcellin Boule, refused to accept it because of the impossible combination of a human skull and ape-like jawbone. Nevertheless, the world, eager for any link in the evolution of man, applauded the discovery.

For forty years the evolutionist school used the Piltdown bones to prove that mankind came not from God but from a tree-swinging ape. However, in the early fifties, as suspicions of a forgery increased, the evolutionists themselves submitted the specimen to rigorous tests, hoping to lessen their disgrace. The tests revealed that the bones belonged to different creatures. The skull was human, a thousand years old; the jaw was from an orangutan that had died within a year of the discovery. Its teeth had been filed down to appear human. This monstrous hoax inflicted enormous damage during the years when it held center stage.

Jan said...

For Fr K PART 3

Discovery of Fraud and Deceit: Piltdown Man

In 1912 two scientists announced that they had discovered the "missing link" in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England. This consisted of a human skull missing the face and the jawbone of an ape having the teeth worn like human teeth. The age of his find was estimated at 500,000 years. Some experts, like the great French authority on paleontology, Marcellin Boule, refused to accept it because of the impossible combination of a human skull and ape-like jawbone. Nevertheless, the world, eager for any link in the evolution of man, applauded the discovery.

For forty years the evolutionist school used the Piltdown bones to prove that mankind came not from God but from a tree-swinging ape. However, in the early fifties, as suspicions of a forgery increased, the evolutionists themselves submitted the specimen to rigorous tests, hoping to lessen their disgrace. The tests revealed that the bones belonged to different creatures. The skull was human, a thousand years old; the jaw was from an orangutan that had died within a year of the discovery. Its teeth had been filed down to appear human. This monstrous hoax inflicted enormous damage during the years when it held center stage.

The remaining sparse evidence can be reduced to three groups:

1) Australopithecus, near ape;
2) Java man and Peking man, half and half;
3) Neanderthal man, near human.

In order to disguise the unreliability of the evidence, imaginative artists have been employed to flesh out the empty bones of these creatures and place them in the human family tree, nicely progressing from one false position to the next.

Jan said...

For Fr K PART 4

Australopithecus

Evolutionists have recovered the skeletal remains of several extinct apes in southern Africa that differ slightly from their modern counterparts. The scientists have naturally concluded that the differences provide evidence that the ancient apes were preparing to change into men. However, careful study by well known anatomists have proved that these once promising links are nothing more than extinct apes. 2

Neanderthal Man

At the most recent end of the time scale, we come to the Neanderthal Man. Placing him among the intermediate specimens gives us a typical example of the deceitful practices employed by the frustrated evolutionists. He belongs more to the field of anthropology, for he is 100% human, although of a distinctly different race. Because he lived immediately before Noah’s flood and was most likely destroyed by it, archaeologists have uncovered numerous specimens. With an embarrassing lack of exhibits elsewhere, these scientists felt the need of exploiting their find to its limits. Noticing the heavy brow ridges, they brought in their ever faithful artists and unfairly portrayed this unfortunate creature as a pre-human brute. In any event, diggers have uncovered modern man (sometimes termed Cro-Magnon man) in levels underneath the Neanderthal, which obviously turns the family tree upside down.

Java Man

The proof that we have descended from monkey ancestors has now been reduced to two, Java Man and Peking Man. Let us see how reliable they are.

A Dutch physician, Eugene Dubois, discovered the Java Man fossils in 1891. These consisted of two ape-like teeth, one skullcap with the brain case missing (and therefore impossible to determine which category it belonged to), and one human thigh bone, found fifty feet away. Without any justification, he claimed that this meager collection of bones was from the same individual and called it Pithecanthropus-Java Man. As with the Piltdown Man, he estimated the age to be about 500,000 years and, again as with the Piltdown Man, there was fraud involved, because the doctor concealed the fact that he also discovered two human skulls at the site.

Dr. Dubois revealed the human skulls in 1921, and seventeen years later he announced his conclusion that the Java Man was a gibbon. But it was too late; the Java Man was firmly enthroned in the pantheon of missing links.

Jan said...

For Fr K PART 5

Peking Man

As presented here, and in reality, the man-from-ape-theory by the discovery of intermediate creatures rests with the Peking Man. If he collapses, the whole theory goes down with him. Many atheist scientists who favor the Theory of Evolution for philosophical reasons, that is they refuse to believe in God, are willing to discard the specimens mentioned above as insufficient, but they still cling to the Peking Man as justification. Yet he too is a fraud. He simply does not exist as something halfway between ape and man, nor did he ever.

With the Java and Piltdown frauds at the height of their influence, Dr. Davidson Black, a professor of anatomy in Peking, in 1926 added to the growing list of evidence – one tooth – and called it the Peking Man (Sinanthropus Pekinensis). After he received a substantial sum of money from the Rockefeller Foundation, Black began to excavate a large landslide at a hill where the tooth was found. Sifting through debris of ashes and bones of numerous mammals, he collected some thirty monkey-like skulls along with some more teeth and a couple of jawbones, but no other parts of the anatomy. Black announced he had found many fossils to prove the evolution of man.

Among the few scientists invented to inspect the site was above mentioned French expert, Marcellin Boule, himself an evolutionist. Totally irritated at having his time wasted, he identified the skulls as belonging to baboons and macaques. Since each skull had a hole bashed in the rear, Boule declared that they were the remains of food eaten by human workmen. Noting the large amount of burned debris, Boule reported the human beings operated industrial furnaces to convert limestone into lime.

This was confirmed when the skeletal remains of ten humans were located in the same are as the bashed-in-skulls, most likely victims of the landslide. Largely ignored in most accounts, the presence of human remains mixed in with the monkeys certainly presents a severe obstacle to any belief in this whole business.

During the excavation, Black, and later his successor, sculpted artificial models showing creatures midway between ape and man. According to three eyewitnesses, including Boule, who kept notes of their observations, these fake carvings bore no resemblance to the actual fossils. The obvious question is, "Why don't we just examine the skulls and get on with it?" Well you see, we cannot do that; all the evidence mysteriously disappeared at the end of World War II. All that is left are two teeth and the ever present artificial models.

http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/evolution/how-the-missing-links-are-still-missing.html

Anonymous said...

Marc, as his defense, states, "I think Fr. McDonald can vouch for the fact that all my classes were 100% orthodox, including the class I taught in creation."

HOWEVER, Marc has already made it know to one and to all that priests cannot be trusted, that priests are frequently wrong, that priests, in general, cannot be relied upon for making good judgments or giving good, solid Catholic information.

Marc says: "Being a priest does not mean that the person is right about everything or is above criticism."

Marc also says, "If you choose to believe a priest simply because he is a priest, I can't do anything about that."

And Marc also says, "So the idea that "a priest said it, it just be true," is simply impossible."

Hoisted on our own petard, are we, Marc?

Jan said...

Anonymous July 14, 2016 at 9:10 AM, I am delighted to know that " Marc, TJM, and Gene teach or taught RCIA classes at St. Josephs church", that means at least some people will have been taught orthodox Catholic doctrine, unlike many I know, who have been taught by liberals in the RCIA program.

Unfortunately, it sounds as you have had a similar experience if you are not able to recognize the orthodoxy of these three men.

The comment that you refer to about a priest being referred to as the devil, is in the context of a priest that is teaching something that is false and contrary to what the Catholic Church actually teaches, therefore that priest in reality is doing the work of the devil. Catholics, like yourself, need to find out the truth of what the Church teaches because many liberal priests are leading good Catholics astray with false teaching based on their own liberal views of what they think the Church should teach.



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan, I'll make just a few comments on things you have posted.

First, you say, "The story of creation provides us with the necessary information on the origin of man – the starting point for any history of mankind."

No, the starting point for any history of man goes back beyond the first true humans to our hominid ancestors.

Second, that atheists like evolution is not, per se, a condemnation of evolution. Lots of atheists like Puccini operas, vanilla ice cream, and, I suspect, playing Pokémon Go.

Third, you say, "If living things evolved step by step, there should be millions of halfway creatures. None have been found,..."

This is false. A few transitional fossils are: Australopithecus africanus, Panderichthys, Confuciusornis, Probainognathus, and my personal favorite, Acanthostega gunnari. There are dozens, even hundreds, of other transitional fossils.

Fourth, you say, "there should be millions of halfway creatures..." No, there should not be millions of them. Fossilization is an extremely rare phenomenon, requiring all sorts of conditions to be "just right" for the process to occur.

Fifth, you say, "For forty years the evolutionist school used the Piltdown bones to prove that mankind came not from God but from a tree-swinging ape."

No, this is false. No evolutionist every said mankind came from a tree-swinging ape, or an ape of any kind.

Etc etc etc.



Marc said...

Anonymous, I offered Fr. McDonald's opinion of my teaching as one of my defenses. I also suggested that you look on YouTube and watch the classes for yourself.

Priests are not inherently correct simply by virtue of their being priests. Even though that is the case, the inverse that your propose -- that priests are inherently unreliable due to being priests -- does not follow. Just like everyone else in the world, sometimes priests are right and sometimes they are not.

The fact that priests can be wrong or right with roughly the same frequency as everyone else does not mean that they cannot be trusted. It means that people should exercise prudence in determining when and which priests to trust. I would trust Fr. McDonald's thoughts on many matters (although I disagree with him on many things, as well). I would even trust Fr. Kavanaugh's thoughts on many matters (although I tend to take an argumentative approach to most of his opinions here).

I see our discussions here as beneficial -- since Fr. Kavanaugh is very interested in "ecumenism," I hope that, at the very least, he appreciates also our dialogue from that standpoint. The same goes for Anonymous 2 and everyone else with whom I voice disagreement here. I think they are wrong about many things, but I think it is worthwhile to have these discussions.

It is important for people new here to understand that we have been commenting here like 7 years now, I think -- so I can see how it is a little or very odd for those who show up randomly and read these comments to have a misunderstanding about the nature of the discussion.

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

Fr K,

Human evolution is the evolutionary process that led to the emergence of anatomically modern humans. The topic typically focuses on the evolutionary history of the primates—in particular the genus Homo, and the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominids (or "great apes")—rather than studying the earlier history that led to the primates. The study of human evolution involves many scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology, paleontology, neurobiology, ethology, linguistics, evolutionary psychology, embryology and genetics.[1] Genetic studies show that primates diverged from other mammals about 85 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period, and the earliest fossils appear in the Paleocene, around 55 million years ago.[2] Within the Hominoidea (apes) superfamily, the Hominidae family diverged from the Hylobatidae (gibbon) family some 15–20 million years ago; African great apes (subfamily Homininae) diverged from orangutans (Ponginae) about 14 million years ago; the Hominini tribe (humans, Australopithecines and other extinct biped genera, and chimpanzees) parted from the Gorillini tribe (gorillas) about 8 million years ago; and, in turn, the subtribes Hominina (humans and biped ancestors) and Panina (chimps) separated about 7.5 million years ago.[3]

The basic adaptation of the hominin line is bipedalism. The earliest bipedal hominin is considered to be either Sahelanthropus or Orrorin; alternatively, either Sahelanthropus or Orrorin may instead be the last shared ancestor between chimps and humans. Ardipithecus, a full biped, arose somewhat later, and the early bipeds eventually evolved into the australopithecines, and later into the genus Homo.

Apes and chimps!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gerbert - Yes, humans and apes share a common ancestral tree.

Anonymous said...

Marc, you, "offered Fr. McDonald's opinion of my teaching as one of my defenses."

But you also said, "Being a priest does not mean that the person is right about everything or is above criticism." and "If you choose to believe a priest simply because he is a priest, I can't do anything about that." and "So the idea that "a priest said it, it just be true," is simply impossible."

So, are priests, as a category, reliable or not? You described the category...

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

“Anonymous 2, sorry to hear you are hindered by ‘the spirit of the ABA Model Rule 3.3’. Unfortunately for you, that doesn't pertain under English Common Law ...”

Unfortunately for you, Jan, the hindrance is probably even greater where you live if it is a Common Law jurisdiction (where is that, by the way?). Thus:

“Jurisdictions vary in the completeness of their requirement that a lawyer inform the court of adverse authority. The ABA Model Rules narrowly require disclosure of ‘legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel,’ whereas a U.K. barrister is obligated to disclose ‘any authority which might throw light on matters under debate’ whether favorable or unfavorable to the barrister’s client.”

See James Moliterno, “Global Issues in Legal Ethics” (Second edition, 2014), at page 140 (Discussion Question 8-2).

I would indeed have been surprised if U.S. attorneys were under stricter ethical constraints than English barristers. In general, the converse is the case. I am an English barrister, by the way, although I now live and teach in the U.S.



Marc said...

Anonymous, what do you think? Is there a category of people who is reliable by virtue of their vocation? Or is it the case that in any given vocation there are people who are reliable and others who are not reliable?

Anonymous said...

Marc - That's not the point. The POINT is your inconsistency.

You slam priests as a category - they're not right about everything, they're not above criticism - and then you turn right around and say that Fr. McDonald would judge you "orthodox" and his judgment should be trusted because (wait for it) HE IS A PRIEST!

Is he an expert on evolutionary biology? No. Is he learned in anthropology or related areas? Nope. Has he any particular experience in the study of genetics or other fields related to evolutionary biology? No.

But... HE'S A PRIEST!

Have another piece of cake - and eat it too.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, I'll give you an example. Cell sites. A law firm is acting for a telecom company who wants to erect a cell site in a suburban area. Local residents oppose the cell site. Normally each side calls their own expert to give evidence supporting their case. The expert for the telcom will give evidence that the cell site is perfectly safe. The expert will give evidence for the residents that the cell site is not safe. Never have I heard either side produce evidence that supports the case of the other side. That is just simply ludicrous. The evidence is produced for and against and the tribunal decides which evidence it accepts. With case law normally each side to produce case law which they consider supports their case. They argue it out and the judge decides whether he thinks the case law upholds a particular argument. There is a duty of disclosure, which is that each side has to disclose its documentation, except for without prejudice documentation. As your quote says, "Jurisdictions vary in the completeness of their requirement that a lawyer inform the court of adverse authority". All I can say is I have not come across it, except that all case law on a subject is usually researched and a bundle of all case law is presented. I have yet to hear though a lawyer quoting from case law that was adverse to his case.

The point is that it is impossible to quote screeds of articles etc and if someone disagrees surely it is up to them to counter anything they disagree with, as for example Fr K is doing.

Jan said...

Fr K, You state "The starting point for any history of man goes back beyond the first true humans to our hominid ancestors". That is purely your view based on an unproven theory. The article I posted refutes evolution.

You may believe that you share a common ancestry with an ape but I believe I descended from Adam and Eve our first parents and that there were no hominid ancestors and an ape will always be an ape and a man a man.

Marc said...

Anonymous, I didnt say that Fr. McDonald's judgement of my classes should be trusted because he is a priest. it could be trusted because he was the person running the classes, though.

I understand that you think you're making a really clever argument and have caught me in some inconsistency, but you haven't. You're just demonstrating your inability to comprehend the language.

Anonymous said...

Father K sometimes you just cannot educate people.
They will never listen to you. Everyone that is educated knows that
you speak the truth about Evolution. Everyone knows that this is not "your opinion" but
the Scientific Truth. The Catholic Church respects the truth. Some people just cannot understand.
I think everyone who is really interested in Evolution and who believes it is false should take a few
High School Classes on the topic. God can do anything he chooses including create man and woman
in the way he sees fit. If it is Evolution then that is his choice. We insult his work not to believe it.
He had a beautiful plan for creation for God is himself a master at Science. He created it all and
in my opinion Science teaches us the language of God. I think some just cannot through no fault
of their own understand that. Learning is a process. It takes a long time. Science teaches us more about
God every day.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - You can also choose to believe the moon is made of green cheese, but that doesn't make it so.

The article you posted made and attempt to, but did not refute evolution. I pointed out several flaws in the article - these you have chosen to overlook.



George said...

Anonymous2

"It got me thinking again about a problem that has bothered me for quite a while—the apparent cruelty and suffering of the animal world. As the talk suggests, this can be explained if it is the result of the Fall of the entire creation due to Original Sin. But how can apparently cruel and random natural selection be viewed as the mechanism chosen by a good and omnipotent God whose creation was “good?”

There is pain in the animal world but not suffering; it is our human experience which categorizes our own pain as suffering, which acknowledges and recognizes a more profound significance to our pain. There is no cruelty from an animal's perspective, in its limited awareness of things, such as it is. It is a subjective judgement on certain actions we categorize as such from our own human/ moral/spiritual perception and understanding of things. That does not mean that we should not care about the way animals are treated,since they were created by God as a gift for the co-operative benefit of the world we inhabit, to serve us in some way, either directly or indirectly, and should not be treated as if we have no consideration of God's generosity and goodness to us.
In Genesis, when God created those things He did on each day, He saw it was good, and it was, since God is goodness itself, and nothing that is not good originates from Him. Is it cruel that higher forms of life subsist and sustain themselves by consuming lower forms? Or that down through the history of the world certain living forms went extinct? Are we to judge God in the way He created things? All things were brought into existence to serve whatever purpose God intended for them. All things work together for the good of the whole and do so to the extent that man doe not corrupt or adversely affect the working and proper functioning of nature in some way.
Things did change on earth after the Fall of our First parents. Sin has its consequences which manifest in the world we inhabit. It is the continual daily offering of the Sacrifice of the Mass and our own prayes and sacrifices which counteracts and mitigates the consequences of sin in the world, else things would be much, much worse.

Anonymous 2 said...


Jan:

Often you do not just do the equivalent of citing case law to support your case. You do the equivalent of misrepresenting case law by misreading your source and citing it for a proposition for which it does not stand—cherry picking some language in it and quoting it out of context to mean X when in proper context it means Y. You have also sometimes cited fabricated sources and then refused to acknowledge the fabrication even when it has been demonstrated to you.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous and Father Kavanaugh:

It may be virtually impossible to break through the armor of someone who is so thoroughly ideologically “indoctrinated” in a bad sense (i.e., brainwashed) that they have a cult-like mentality. I have seen it on Communists, on Islamic extremists, on secular fundamentalist extremists like Richard Dawkins, and I am afraid to say, there seems to be an element of it in the Catholic Church. Nothing can be allowed to disturb the ideological belief system. For example, if the belief system asserts that macro evolution cannot occur or that the moon is made of green cheese, then it does no good to say that there is evidence that macroevolution can occur or that the moon is made of various kinds of rocks, or even to adduce authoritative sources to support these propositions. These authoritative sources will be dismissed as just wrong or perhaps even as the work of the Devil. The Church has been through this before, of course, in the challenges to Aristotelian science and the geocentric Ptolemaic theory, perhaps most (in)famously in the episode of Galileo (although Galileo did not help his own case very much through his own extreme attitude, which claimed greater certainty then his evidence warranted and also asserted his right to interpret Scripture).

I am not saying that this is necessarily what we are encountering in these exchanges on evolution (and various other matters). But I am beginning to think it might be, based on what I am witnessing and on my own experiences. For example, check out the link Jan cites for the long passage she quotes and trace the connections. Here it is again:


http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/evolution/how-the-missing-links-are-still-missing.html

I am not necessarily impugning anyone’s good faith or sincerity, or even the legitimacy of advocating the views in question. Nor am I necessarily suggesting that those challenging such views are themselves (ourselves) completely free of their (our) own biases (who is?), struggle though they (we) might to engage in critical thinking. But I do think it important to know what one might be dealing with.

Even if one cannot ever persuade the immediate party to the exchange, though, it is important to undertake the effort so that other readers are presented with a fair and balanced account, especially when faced with an attitude such as Jan’s that, somewhat unethically I suggest, assumes no responsibility for disclosing contrary evidence or even for presenting its own evidence fairly but places this burden on others.







Marc said...

A2, the basic problem is that you are on a Catholic website arguing a position that is at odds with the Church's teaching. The Catholics here are simply accepting the Church's teaching and saying that it is the nature of science to change over time so that, even if there might be the appearance of evidence to support the current state of scientific belief, it is susceptible to change over time so that it might at some future point contradict it's current position entirely.

The Church, on the other hand, has the revelation of God and so can be trusted absolutely, even if current science appears to contradict its teaching.

With this statement, I'm not trying to convince or convict you, just add some clarity to the nature of the discussion in hopes of demonstrating that those of us, like myself and Jan, are perhaps arguing from a position of good faith, which you are implying we lack.

Anonymous 2 said...

George:

Thank you for those helpful thoughts. I had been wondering, too, what difference it makes that we are judging matters from a human perspective and not from the perspective of the animals themselves, and whether this distinction might offer a solution. Your post suggests that it might. Thanks again.



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anon 2 - Ah... TFP. Tradition - Family - Property. I understand the bishops of Brazil warned against this organization, noting that the founder's desire for the re-establishment of rule by the aristocracy and some of his claims to being a prophet were highly questionable.

"The lack of communion of TFP (the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition,
Family, and Property) with the Church in Brazil, its hierarchy, and the Holy Father is well known.“Its esoteric character, the religious fanaticism, the cult given to the personality of its leader and his mother, the abusive use of the name of Mary Most Holy, according to news items circulated, cannot in any way merit the approval of the Church. "We regret the inconveniences occasioned by a civil society that manifests itself as a Catholic religious entity, without connection to the legitimate shepherds."

"That being so, the Bishops of Brazil exhort Catholics not to join TFP or collaborate with it."

Gene said...

People, in dealing with Kavanaugh and Anon 2, remember that you are dealing with unbelief...pure and simple. Kavanaugh's unbelief is obvious and in-your-face...the only reason to respond to it is so that the uninitiated on the blog can be set right and be exposed to apostate Priests. Anon 2's unbelief is of the Hamlet type...he really doesn't know what he believes which is the same thing only more subtle, especially in one such as he who is accustomed to rationalization and soliloquies that are sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.

Anonymous said...

Gene: Watch over yourself and take care not to judge the actions of other people. We gain nothing by criticizing others, but often are mistaken and thereby offend God. But to judge yourself and your own actions is always profitable We often judge a thing according to our preference and therefore our judgment is emotional rather than objective. This stubbornness in our own opinions would not dominate our judgments if our hearts were set on God.
The Imitation of Christ

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

“in hopes of demonstrating that those of us, like myself and Jan, are perhaps arguing from a position of good faith, which you are implying we lack.”

There is no such necessary implication. In fact, I was very careful to say that “I am not necessarily impugning anyone’s good faith or sincerity, or even the legitimacy of advocating the views in question.”

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene, having nothing to add to the conversation, determines to use personal attacks - baseless personal attacks - against those who disagree with him.

His arrogance takes the form of "I believe and you don't," when, in fact, he cannot produce a single bit of evidence to make his claim anything more that that - a claim.

The "uninitiated" also can be "set right" by knowing that, on this blog, Gene refers to the President as a N****R, and then attempts to justify this by telling us that all his "intelligent friends" do the same.

He routinely ignores the Church's teaching on the killing of innocents, and even denounces those who defend the Church's teaching.

He scandalously announces that he has skipped mass because he doesn't care for the style of the priest or the choice of music or the arrangement of the pews or some other insignificant matter, ignoring the Church's teaching regarding the sanctity of the Lord's Day.

He refers to the Bishops as "communists," he rejects the Social Doctrine of the Church out of hand, and announces, in so many words, that he would not follow the Pope.

Yes, let the uninitiated be forewarned.

Marc, Anon 2 has posted nothing that "is at odds with the Church's teaching" It is most certainly at odds with YOUR peculiar interpretation of the Church's teaching, but not with the Church's doctrine per se.

Yes, science might change . . . That ol' gravity thing or those atomic numbers or that silly notion that the planets revolve around the sun might just be proven wrong one day.....

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Two points:

(1) You do realize this is just the sort of thing ISIS members say about mainstream Muslims, don’t you? As I have observed before, “same process, different content.” True Believers (who must be distinguished from true believers) are the same the world over, always have been, always will be.

(2) You also realize, I hope, that you have just called the following Popes unbelievers as well because, if I am an unbeliever for accepting the theory of evolution as a valid theory, then so must they be. Congratulations; does that make you a sedevacantist now?:

Pope Pius XII:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis.html

Pope St John Paul II:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP961022.HTM

Pope Benedict XVI:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/19956961/ns/world_news-europe/t/pope-creation-vs-evolution-clash-absurdity/#.V4rlXaJH6vA

Pope Francis:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/10/pope-francis-evolution/382143/

The article in the last link concludes:

“In a country where 42 percent of adults believe the world was created in seven days, you might even say that Catholics are ahead of the game—unless you can’t reconcile faith and science, in which case you will always disagree with the Catholic Church. But the media perpetuating the faith-versus-science binary is tiresome, ignorant, and takes away from the issues the Church is facing that perhaps do call for revisiting . . . . The Catholic Church made its decision a long time ago: Science is not incompatible with faith. The world is just finally paying attention.”

Apparently, some Catholics are not paying attention either.



Anonymous 2 said...

Marc, Jan, Gene (and anyone else so minded):


You all claim that the theory of evolution (presumably including both cosmic evolution and biological evolution) is contrary to the teaching of the Church. Please explain to us exactly where the Church addresses and condemns such theories. As indicated in my previous post, apparently Pope Pius XII, Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XIV and Pope Francis are either unaware of such condemnation or deliberately flouting it. I think you will agree that either alternative is a very serious charge to make or to imply.



Jan said...

Fr K, EWTN carries the following statement on CATHOLIC ANSWERS regarding the TFP

EWTN's web site that is helpful and answers your question. I could easily imagine that some members of the clery in South America who are fond of the "progressive" ideas of Liberation Theology wouldn't care too much for the work of the TFP:

"Dear Caroline, The TFP is a social action group, not officially Catholic, but "Catholic inspired", founded by a brilliant and pious professor who had serious disagreements with a Brazilian cardinal. This disagreement brought on a Brazilian rejection. In the rest of the world, TFP stands and works 110% in union with the Catholic Church, sometimes leads some Church efforts, e.g. the effort "America Needs Fatima", anti-porn efforts, family life, etc. Some Vatican officials have approved the group which in effect balances TFP as an orthodox lay group which is not approved by some Brazilian church leaders. I find all this group stands for as exemplary, pious, loyal both to country and the Church in all its aims and objectives. Fr. 'bob Levis"

So your trying to discredit them is not accepted by others in the Church, especially in the USA where they are well respected.

On the other hand, many of the Brazilian bishops promote liberation theology roundly condemned by St John Paul II The Great. Are you also a supporter of liberation theology?

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, all the videos and reports I have shown speak for themselves of the violent behavior of Muslim immigrants throughout the world - the latest atrocity being committed in Nice also speaks for itself.

The fact is you are unwilling to accept facts and video facts at that.

And I totally agree with Marc and Gene's succinct comments.

To accuse people who are standing up for the faith of cult-like behavior is beyond the pale but, in doing so, it puts you firmly in the camp of the dissidents who do not stand up for or defend Catholic teaching.

Jan said...

Anonymous July 16, 2016 at 12:03 PM

"
Over 500 Scientists Proclaim Their Doubts About Darwin's Theory of Evolution
Robert Crowther February 20, 2006 7:28 AM | Permalink

Over 500 doctoral scientists have now signed a statement publicly expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.

The Scientific Dissent From Darwinism statement reads: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

The list of 514 signatories includes member scientists from the prestigious US and Russian National Academy of Sciences. Signers include 154 biologists, the largest single scientific discipline represented on the list, as well as 76 chemists and 63 physicists. Signers hold doctorates in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines. Many are professors or researchers at major universities and research institutions such as MIT, The Smithsonian, Cambridge University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Washington.

Discovery Institute first published its Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list in 2001 to challenge false statements about Darwinian evolution made in promoting PBS's "Evolution" series. At the time it was claimed that "virtually every scientist in the world believes the theory to be true."

"Darwinists continue to claim that no serious scientists doubt the theory and yet here are 500 scientists who are willing to make public their skepticism about the theory," said Dr. John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture. "Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list."

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/02/over_500_scientists_proclaim_t001981.html


And the list is growing - what you learn in High School does not take into account scientific dissenting views on evolution and the scientific reasons for those dissenting views.

Jan said...

Anonymous July 16, 2016 at 9:33 PM said...

"Gene: Watch over yourself and take care not to judge the actions of other people. We gain nothing by criticizing others ..."


It seems to me that you are criticizing Gene and so a case of "do as I say but not as I do" ...

Jan said...

Anon 2:

"
Full Question
In light of all the evidence proving evolution, to be a faithful Catholic does one have to believe that there was an original couple called Adam and Eve?


Answer

It is prohibited to believe that there were multiple first parents, many sets of Adams and Eves. This position is called polygenism. It is a teaching of the Catholic Church that there was one set of parents, and it was they who committed an offense against God, and that offense has had lasting effects for mankind. This is the doctrine of original sin, the sin that occurred at the origin of the human race. C. S. Lewis argued that the existence of original sin is perhaps one of the most obvious facts of human life, even to non-believers.

Those who hold that there were multiple sets of first parents go against the teaching of the magisterium on the doctrine of original sin. In fact, there are even logical difficulties in accounting for original sin if that calamitous falling can't be traced to a single man, Adam.

In an encyclical issued in 1950 Pope Pius XII stated,

When there is a question of another conjectural opinion, namely, of polygenism so-called, then the sons of the Church in no way enjoy such freedom. For the faithful in Christ cannot accept this view, which holds either that after Adam there existed men on this earth who did not receive their origin by natural generation from him, the first parent of all, or that Adam signifies some kind of multiple first parents; for it is by no means apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with what the sources of revealed truth and the acts of the magisterium of the Church teaches about original sin, which proceeds from a sin truly committed by one Adam, and which is transmitted to all by generation, and exists in each one as his own. (Humani Generis 37)

Concerning your presupposition about "all the evidence proving evolution," understand that the theory of evolution is not only not proven, but many scholars are abandoning it as at odds with scientific findings. To learn about problems with the theory of evolution, you might read Darwin on Trial by Philip E. Johnson and Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton.


Answered by: Catholic Answers Staff"

Jan said...

Anonymous 2 the following article sets out what Marc and Gene have been putting forward:

http://kolbecenter.org/the-traditional-catholic-doctrine-of-creation/

"Defenders of the traditional Catholic doctrine of creation do not challenge the legitimacy of Vatican II or of the 1994 Catechism. Nor do we deny that Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have made non-authoritative statements favorable to theistic evolutionism. We simply maintain that an ambiguous, tentative or non-authoritative teaching of a Pope, Bishop, or Council cannot supersede a clear, unambiguous teaching that has been handed down from the Apostles. Any such tentative or ambiguous teachings on matters of faith and morals must be understood in light of previous clear and authoritative magisterial teachings on those matters, if any have been handed down. In regard to creation and evolution, we have demonstrated that a great number of highly authoritative magisterial teachings have upheld special creation and the literal historical truth of Genesis 1-11.

Advocates for theistic evolution will object that cosmological or biological evolution are hypotheses in natural science and cannot be excluded by the Church’s creation theology. And it is true that Pope St. John Paul II believed his scientific advisors when they asserted that everything in the universe (except for man’s soul) could have evolved through natural processes after the creation ex nihilo of some material elements and natural laws in the beginning. But the Pope never cited any evidence that their opinion was true beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, Pope St. John Paul II’s endorsement of the evolutionary hypothesis was always tentative and never obliged our assent. For example, in one Wednesday audience he stated:

It can therefore be said that, from the viewpoint of the doctrine of the faith, there are no difficulties in explaining the origin of man, in regard to the body, by means of the theory of evolution. It must, however, be added that this hypothesis proposes only a probability, not a scientific certainty.

Furthermore, in his famous speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1996, the Holy Father admitted:

A theory’s validity depends on whether or not it can be verified; it is constantly tested against the facts; wherever it can no longer explain the latter, it shows its limitations and unsuitability. It must then be rethought."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan - I would be curious to know what are the "doubts" these 500 scientists have about evolution. You see, as with any scientific theory ("theory" being used here in the accurate scientific sense), there are always some who "doubt" some element of the thinking that underlies the theory, some technical aspect of the practice of implementation of the theory.

As you know there are a handful of medical doctors who "doubt" the efficacy and the safety of vaccines. There are a few scientists who "doubt" the fact that the sun is the center of our solar system, among them the Catholic Robert Sungenis. There are some pharmacologists who believe that Drug A is the better treatment for disease A while other pharmacologists will "doubt" the efficacy of A abd prefer B.

So, this "doubt" is a very mushy thing indeed. Again, you can choose to believe the moon is made of green cheese and find 500 other to agree with you, but that will not change the facts.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jan, Inasmuch as you are willing to see some significant differences between TFP member in Brazil and TFP members in the USA, I wonder why you aren't willing to see significant differences between radical Muslims in the Middle East and Muslims in the USA...

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

I am not the dissident. I stand up for and defend Catholic teaching as set out in the CCC and supporting magisterial pronouncements. You and like-minded others appear to dissent from much of this teaching as being false and contrary to “true” Catholic teaching. Well. I’m sorry, I will stick with the CCC and the teachings of the mainstream Catholic Church to which I belong.

As for TFP, which of course also appears to dissent from much of the same teaching as you seem to do, my sole purpose was to draw attention to the connection with the material quoted in your post and to raise a legitimate concern. People can do their own research to investigate the charges made against the TFP organization and its attempts to defend itself against these charges. Better yet, perhaps, they can ask their priest or Bishop about it.

Marc said...

A2, I think everyone here can see that you reject many of the Church's teachings. Sure, you quote the CCC. And then you deconstruct it to mean what you want it to mean and refuse correction when pointed to actual magisterial statements because, again, they don't say what you want them to say. You are a cafeteria Catholic, which is to say, not Catholic at all really.

It's unfortunate that you let your intellect and trust in human reason overshadow your faith. The same goes for Kavanaugh. You are two peas in the same humanistic, scientism-fueled pod.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc - I do not let intellect and human reason overshadow my faith. Rather, I understand that intellect and reason work along with Divine revelation to help me understand and live my faith.

You propose an unnecessary dichotomy - that it must be one or the other, and this is not what the Church understands. From Fides et Ratio: “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

The impact of science on our understanding of faith is new, inasmuch as science is "new." That the great theologians of the pre-scientific age did not employ science to help them understand Divine revelation should be neither surprising nor disturbing. Science, as we know it, did not exist.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I have no problem with the Theory of Evolution in itself as a scientific effort at understanding. But, it has many flaws, as biologists will admit. On the other hand, the notion that original sin is in our DNA is quite modern and au courant these days when DNA is used to explain everything from sexual abominations to the stock market. Choose your fad.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh conveniently overlooks the many occasions on which I have posted NT theology responses to him (as have Marc and others) and he simply ignores them and re-states his original misunderstandings. This is a man who refused to confess his belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ AND the Real Presence in the Mass...when ANY other believing Priest or preacher would have readily done so and with no hesitation in response to such a direct question. That should settle the issue of the mindset from which Kavanaugh speaks.

George said...

We walk in the light of faith. The Divine light illuminates that which is before us, which has been revealed to us through the Church, and this is how those of faith know with certainty what is true, beyond just that which is knowable by human intellect, and which is only what we can observe, see, and understand within the existential plane. Science shines a light as by a flashlight which illuminates that which is in front of it, but still leaves much in the dark. It discovers laws and properties written into Creation and since these were put there by God, we can accept these as true. Genuine scientific research is that which authentically seeks the objective truth about the nature of things without the hindrance or impediment of a false and prejudicial approach to its investigations.What has been revealed to us by God through Scripture and Tradition is without error, since it originates from He who is Truth itself.
Science, being a human institution which cannot make that claim, can only seek to find that which within its limited bounds can be known. So,no matter what scientific investigation determines about the validity of evolutionary development, it will have no effect on the reality of Adam and Eve and Original Sin, which are beyond what science can ever know and explain.

Gene said...

Anonymous 2 @10:13, There is a difference between me and your Muzzie friends whom you so vociferously defend...I am not cutting your head off on national television, or blowing up your house, or raping your wife because of an ideological disagreement...nor would I do those things.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, are you really that stupid? There is no difference between Muslims in the Middle East and Muslims here...or haven't you been watching the news? We should be rounding Muslims up and deporting them or incarcerating them until we can deport them. If they resist, we should be shooting them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it is the only sensible way to deal with Muslim terrorism and violence. Those of you who defend them so loudly should be sent to the Middle East with them since you love their culture and religion so much...hey, the Pope says there is no difference between Islam and Christianity. Maybe he will go with all of you and convert them all with his "who am I to judge" indifferentist, egalitarian verbal droppings. I am sure they would respond to him in a very direct and positive manner.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

You seem to have a bad case of projection. Your post describes yourself and like-minded others who dissent from the CCC and supporting magisterial pronouncements. You deconstruct them when they do not say what you want them to say, by asserting that they contradict earlier magisterial pronouncements which you interpret in your own idiosyncratic fashion, ignoring rules of interpretation that attend to context, including textual context.

Give me one example, just one, of where I have rejected the teachings of the CCC and supporting magisterial pronouncements. You cannot because there is none. In your case, however, I can point to numerous examples—evolution, Muslims, environment, and on and on.

I am a mainstream Catholic. You are an extreme, fringe ultra-traditionalist who rejects Vatican II and claims that the post-Vatican II Popes are guilty of serious error, even heresy.

And—neither you nor anyone else have not answered my question: Where does the Church condemn the theory of evolution? Apparently the four Popes I mentioned are either unaware of this condemnation or are deliberately flouting it.






Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. The beginning of the last paragraph of my last post should read:

And—neither you nor anyone else has answered my question:


Anonymous 2 said...

Jan, Marc, Gene, and like-minded others:

I read all the stuff you post. I hope that you will also read the book I recommended by Francis Collins, who headed up the Human Genome Project and who is a committed Christian. It will explain clearly and simply many things about cosmic and biological evolution that you seem to misunderstand and may also allay many of your fears. Here is the link again:

https://www.amazon.com/Language-God-Scientist-Presents-Evidence/dp/1416542744

Of course, I don’t really expect that you will do this. But I would love for you to prove me wrong.


Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

I have only just seen your post on the Kolbe Center at 6;27 a.m. I am sure it was not on my screen before. I know that comments sometimes get posted late because it has happened to me.

Anyway, I am still puzzled by assertions such as the following:

“We simply maintain that an ambiguous, tentative or non-authoritative teaching of a Pope, Bishop, or Council cannot supersede a clear, unambiguous teaching that has been handed down from the Apostles. Any such tentative or ambiguous teachings on matters of faith and morals must be understood in light of previous clear and authoritative magisterial teachings on those matters, if any have been handed down. In regard to creation and evolution, we have demonstrated that a great number of highly authoritative magisterial teachings have upheld special creation and the literal historical truth of Genesis 1-11.”

If the “highly authoritative magisterial statements” are so clear and unambiguous, then how on earth could Pope Pius XII, Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have articulated any kind of teaching contrary to it? How could they be so wrong or even dissident? The Kolbe Center does not explain. Can you?



Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - I have never, not once, "refused to confess my belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ AND the Real Presence in the Mass."

In fact, I have said repeatedly that I believe all that the Church teaches to be revealed.

What sticks in your craw is that I will not submit my faith to your inquisitions. You are, as I have also said repeatedly, not competent to judge me.

When I have suggested that you report me to my bishop for my supposed lack of faith and the great "harm" you are certain I am doing, you have turned tail and fled to "Oh your bishop won't do anything." And that's nothing more than conveniently covering your posterior.

It is telling that you judge me on what I have not said, words I have not spoken or written. Your words - the very posts you make here and which I quote - indict you most eloquently.

Marc said...

A2, the specific topic we have been discussing is polygenism and the literal, historical existence of Adam and Eve. I posted the relevant magisterial document asserting that Catholics cannot reject the literal historical existence of Adam and Eve. I further pointed out that that teaching is reiterated in the new Catechism.

Please see your posts around midnight on July 11 for an example of your deconstruction of the plain words in the Catechism to support your preconceived viewpoint and rejection of the Church's teaching.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

“There is a difference between me and your Muzzie friends whom you so vociferously defend...I am not cutting your head off on national television, or blowing up your house, or raping your wife because of an ideological disagreement...nor would I do those things.”

True, but you would have had the U.S. military nuke every capital in the Middle East. There is no meaningful difference.

Marc said...

A2, I'll answer your recent question although you asked Jan: popes can be wrong about thing, especially when, as here, they are merely offering their private opinion on some matter.

Anonymous 2 said...

Since it keeps on coming up, let us consider that central belief of our Faith, the Miracle of the Mass.

Science can easily demonstrate that, physically, there is no change in the physical characteristics of the elements. They remain bread and wine. They certainly do not become flesh and blood. But for those of us who see with the eyes of faith, we see more than science sees or can see. We believe that Christ is “really present” under the form of bread and wine. And, given the limits of science, based as it is on observation using only five physical senses and the use of reason to evaluate the results of those observations, this is not surprising. Science does not do metaphysics.

The analogy with the theory of evolution should be evident. Take the science, add metaphysics, and we have theistic evolution, which is clearly different from purely humanist, materialist theories of evolution.


Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

We have been talking about much more than polygenism. You have made it clear that you reject the theory of evolution, period. You have even posted a link to a talk entitled “Evolution: The Religion of the Antichrist.”

As for my post on polygenism, you seem to have much difficulty reading this properly as you do the CCC or other magisterial documents.

If and when scientific evidence clashes even more clearly with your absolutist and literal reading of the texts upon which you rely and that you insist make no room for the theory of evolution, let alone polygenism, what will you do? My faith will be unaffected, how about yours?

Related, as for popes being wrong about things, can so may popes be so wrong about what you claim is such a clear, unambiguous teaching of the Church? It seems rather unlikely, doesn’t it? Isn’t it more likely that_you_are the one who is wrong and that, in fact, you do not know better than the hierarchy how to interpret magisterial documents in continuity?




Gene said...

Kavanaugh, you are lying in addition to refusing to confess your beliefs. A member of this blog asked you directly if you believed in the bodily resurrection and the real presence and your response was that the question was "a trap" and that it was beneath you to answer it. Are you denying this? Others on the blog remember it.

Gene said...

Anon 2 @ 4:43, There is a meaningful difference. I would nuke the Muslim nations to keep you from having your head cut off on national TV. For all of your lib defense of Leftist outrages and Muslim religious gibberish, you are a civilized human who is worth saving. Muzzles are not.

Gene said...

Metaphysics is a philosophical term that has nothing to do with theology, revealed truth, or the Eucharist. It is mostly gobbled-gook...see Immanuel Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason."

Anonymous 2 said...

Sone further thoughts:

(1) Jan included the following quote in her post at 6:12 a.m.:

“Answer

It is prohibited to believe that there were multiple first parents, many sets of Adams and Eves. This position is called polygenism. It is a teaching of the Catholic Church that there was one set of parents, and it was they who committed an offense against God, and that offense has had lasting effects for mankind. This is the doctrine of original sin, the sin that occurred at the origin of the human race. C. S. Lewis argued that the existence of original sin is perhaps one of the most obvious facts of human life, even to non-believers.

Those who hold that there were multiple sets of first parents go against the teaching of the magisterium on the doctrine of original sin. In fact, there are even logical difficulties in accounting for original sin if that calamitous falling can't be traced to a single man, Adam.”

It is so ironic that the Answer cites C.S. Lewis, given that he certainly accepted the possibility of polygenism. Francis Collins quotes the relevant extract from Lewis’s The Problem of Pain (pp. 68-71) at pp. 208-09. Like Lewis, I am not bothered if science eventually proves polygenism so that multiple humans committed Original Sin (assuming, as I said in an earlier post, that it could ever do so); nor am I bothered by a single pair of ancestors who committed Original Sin. It dos not alter the fundamentals of the Faith. And if science were ever to prove polygenism, the Church would succeed in accommodating it and in demonstrating how it is compatible with relevant magisterial pronouncements. So, in this perspective, it is a non-problem.

For more great insights on Lewis and on what he might have thought about the intelligent design hypothesis, see http://www.cslewis.org/journal/cs-lewis-on-intelligent-design/view-all/

(2) Christian insistence on the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation stories completely misses the point and also makes Christians non-credible when engaging with those who reject such a literal interpretation. When properly understood as Myth, however, the Genesis creation stories offer a wonderful vehicle for engagement and persuasion of the truths about the human condition that they reveal. Refusal to accept the findings of science, then, regarding the physical origins of the universe and the biological origins of humans not only potentially jeopardizes our own faith but likely presents a serious obstacle to evangelization efforts.






Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. By the way, regarding point (2) such non-credibility is precisely what St. Augustine so wisely warned against.

Crystal Vision said...

Gene says "I would nuke the Muslim nations to keep you from having your head cut off on national TV."

The Church says "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation."

The Church further says "Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin."

And the Church says "Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin."

Marc said...

A2, in light of your comment referring to the Genesis account of Creation as "myth," I consider our conversation about whether you accept or reject the Church's teaching on this point to be concluded since you overtly reject the teaching in the comment.

Gene said...

Crystal Vision, we are fighting for the life of the Church and Western Civilization. Pious platitudes and the parroting of well-intended injunctions are not the weapons of choice. These are enemies of the Faith who wish to literally obliterate both our faith and our culture. I'll take Joshua's methods, thank you very much, and take my chances with Divine Judgement.

Gene said...

Marc is correct. If Creation is a myth, so is the majority of Christian belief...which is what folks like Kavanaugh and Anon 2 really believe. This is why they frantically attempt to re-interpret Biblical truth using Enlightenment reason and modernist redaction, while trying to phrase it in the least offensive terms so that the theologically uninitiated will think they are talking about the same things. In their hasty and wordy responses, they remind me of a cat trying to bury feces on a tile porch. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 I have read the F Collins book and it is Fantastic. He is a christian as you said. Wonderful reading.

Father K you do not have to explain yourself to Gene. We all know that you believe in Christ, his resurrection, and his real presence. Some just like to hurt others. Its just what they do.

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald, Seriously how can you allow someone to use such insulting posts to one of your Brother Priests as Gene insults Father K. How can you allow him to post such things as killing an entire race of people. We all have a right to disagree but this is really horrible stuff. Father K is you brother priest he is a holy father just as you are. And to "Nuke" an entire race. This is just awful.

Anonymous said...

Father K It is my opinion that Gene is just intent on hurting you. He has also hurt me deeply with his name calling and insults.
It is my intent to not respond to him ever again. Several members from St. Joseph have a bible study class at my house. We are all old and do not get out much Several weeks ago we started reading this blog. We are not ashamed of who we are but just do not want our names posted. We are old fashioned that way. We went through and just wrote down all of his comments and it was just so sad to see a Man of God insulted in this way. Please just ignore him. Some in our group attended Holy Spirit for awhile and they know you to be a wonderful priest. Macon will indeed miss you. Just don't reply. And all of us certainly do agree the you are exactly right about Evolution. We also value A2's statements and posts.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

“[S]ince you overtly reject the teaching in the comment.”

Not so. I forgot to add to my comment that sadly as a society we seem to have forgotten what Myth actually is. This is evidenced by your failure to acknowledge that I used an upper case “M” for the word and not a lower case “m” as you have. Of course, this failure to understand the true nature of Myth, and the relatively recent insistence upon the literal meaning of the entirety of the Creation stories in Genesis, is a symptom of the very modernism that so-called traditionalists decry.

As another example of the importance of attending to Myth and its lessons, George Bush would have done well to attend to the lessons in the Myth of Icarus. He may have avoided the hubris that has led to the dreadful situation the world now faces in the violence perpetrated by ISIS and their ilk. Talking of which, the recently published Chilcot Report in the U.K. provides ample evidence of this hubris. But, given that President Bush did not even know the difference between Sunni and Shia before the invasion of Iraq, being conversant with ancient Greek Myth was probably too much to expect I suppose.

So, are you telling us that you believe that the entire universe, with its billions upon billions of galaxies, was created in six literal Earth days? Or are you telling us that the observations on which our understanding of the Universe as containing billions and billions of galaxies is based are flawed in some way?

My understanding is that as a Catholic I am free to believe that the Creation stories are Myth in the sense in which I use the term, that is, figurative language that conveys divine truths, except that, at the moment at least, I must believe that Original Sin was committed not by a group of humans but by two individuals, Adam and Eve. You are also free to believe in the literal meaning of the entirety, if you wish, even though the Church subscribes to theistic evolution.

For more on all the nuances see:

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/adam-eve-and-evolution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution

And lest we lose sight of what is at stake, perhaps we should remind ourselves of what Father McDonald wrote at the head of this thread and let him have the last word as he had the first:

“To be honest with you, I don't give a flip if Catholics believe in the literal meaning of the Bible or see it as allegory. I don't care if they think the Book of Genesis is to be taken literally or not. I could care less if they tend toward creationism or evolution. I am not a science or history teacher. I will leave it to them to fret over such stuff.

Regardless of which perspective or theory Catholics believe, I hope that they take the religious meaning of the Book of Genesis to heart. That we were created by God, male and female we were created, in His image and likeness and somewhere along the line sin entered humanity and God's people turned from Him to false gods, like themselves and thought salvation was of human origin and in human kings and queens.”



Anonymous 2 said...

Gene (at 5:50):

You seem to have a very narrow view of metaphysics, which has been central to Catholic thought over the centuries:

http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=7925

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... If there were humans other than one, singular pair, is there any reason to think that they, too, did not engage in sinful behavior? I say "No" since we know that all (humans) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Putting aside the idea that there is scientific "proof" for polygenism (which I deny), I would like to focus on two aspects of faith in this regard.

#1. Please explain how your assertion here can be reconciled with Saint Paul's teaching in his epistle to the Romans, Chapter 5, wherein he states that "by one man sin entered into this world and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned."

Saint Paul immediately contrasts the sin of one man (stating that that man was a figure of "Him who was to come") with the redemption by one man, Jesus Christ.

If polygenism were correct, please explain why someone who had not sinned and was not descended from "Adam" would have to die.

That's number 1.

I will post number 2 following.

DJR

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, regardless of what you think as to whether or not it makes a difference in your opinion or even what CS Lewis thought, as a Catholic we are all required to believe the doctrine. Catholic Dictionary the doctrine of Monogenism:

"MONOGENISM
Definition

The doctrine that the human race derived from one original human being, identified in Scripture with Adam. This is the Church's constant traditional teaching. In the Creed of Pope Pelagius I (reigned 556-61) we read: "I confess that all men until the end of time, born of Adam and dying with Adam, his wife, who themselves were not born of other parents . . . will rise and stand firm before the judgment seat of Christ, to receive each one according to his works" (Denzinger, 228a). And Pope Pius XII declared: "No Catholic can hold that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from his as from the first parent of all" (Humani Generis, 1950, para. 38). (Etym. Latin mono, one + genus, race.)"

Marc and Gene have variously referred to the Council of Trent, Pope Pius XII etc, where the doctrine is defined. There has been no change other than some comments made by Pope Benedict, St John Paul II The Great, and Francis, but that is just their opinion and they haven't sought to make any change to Church teaching because they can't. Evolution is only a theory.

But, as Marc says you and Fr K have rejected the Genesis account of creation as a "myth" and, therefore, it puts both of you into the category of dissidents.

Anonymous said...

This is number 2. Please pardon the length.

A2 and Father Kavanaugh: I would like to see your response to this.

It seems to me that neither one of you (nor, for that matter, anyone else that I have ever read, popes included) take the concepts of evolution/polygenism to their logical conclusion, which is this:

If theistic evolution/polygenism were true, it would require us to believe in at least one other Immaculate Conception other than that of the Blessed Virgin.

Not only would it require us to believe in another Immaculate Conception, but the "parent" of the first human(s) was/were not human and therefore did not possess an immortal soul.

In other words, an evolved "hominid" who did not possess an immortal soul had an Immaculate Conception and gave birth to the first human that DID possess an immortal soul.

I would like to see how you would refute the following:

1. The Church teaches without equivocation, and science affirms, that life begins at conception.

2. The Church teaches that we must believe that God created the soul and that souls do not evolve.

3. But the Church also teaches that God cannot create anything sinful; thus, when He created the first human "soul," that soul was sinless.

4. The Church teaches that, angels aside, non-humans do not have immortal souls; only humans do.

5. Theistic evolutionists do not believe that Adam (or whoever the first "man" was) was taken from the earth; his body (or, if more than one, their bodies) came from an evolved hominid (or hominids).

6. Thus, the first "man" to have an immortal soul was conceived in an evolved hominid which did not have an immortal soul, but that conception HAD to be sinless because God did not, and COULD NOT, create the first human soul in a sinful state.

7. If that first human soul were not created sinless, the doctrine of original sin would not be possible, as there has to be a time when humans were sinless for the doctrine of original sin to be true.

8. What we are left with is the following: The first "human" with an immortal soul was conceived without sin, but his parents did not possess immortal souls; in other words, they were not truly human beings. And it was one of these non-humans whose conception was an Immaculate Conception because the soul of the human she gave birth to did not possess original sin; that is, a non-human being had an Immaculate Conception.

And in polygenism, this would be multiplied several times over.

In no way can a Catholic accept such a concept, but that's exactly what your ideas require us to do.

I don't see how in the world you can get around the proposition that, if the first man (Adam, if you will) was not taken from the earth, the only other possibility is that he was conceived, but his conception was not from a (wo)man with an immortal soul; it was through a "hominid" with a material soul, and that hominid had to conceive the first man without sin because a) excluding angels, it's not possible for non-humans to "sin" and b) it is not possible for God to have created the first human soul in a sinful state.

Thus, your theory demands at least one other Immaculate Conception, but in this case, by a non-human, non-immortal entity.

As I said, I don't see how in the world you can get around that and still believe the things you believe.

DJR

Jan said...

Fr Kavanaugh, I have listed the scientists before but here is the site again and with some comments that are worth re-posting, especially for those who have been taught in high school that evolution is a fact when many scientists totally disagree - well over 500 scientists now and many with PhDs:

"See a list of skeptical scientists here and read below how one of the founders of the field of antibiotics is skeptical of evolution.

Ernst Chain (1906-1979) and two others were awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Chain identified the structure of penicillin, and isolated the active substance. He is considered to be one of the founders of the field of antibiotics. Concerning Darwin’s theory of evolution, Chain found it to be “a very feeble attempt” to explain the origin of species based on assumptions so flimsy that “it can hardly be called a theory.”A He saw the reliance on chance mutations as a “hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts.”B He wrote: “These classic evolutionary theories are a gross oversimplification of an immensely complex and intricate mass of facts, and it amazes me that they were swallowed so uncritically and readily, and for such a long time, by so many scientists without a murmur of protest.”

B Chain concluded that he “would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation” as Darwinism.A He was born in Berlin, Germany, and obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry and physiology there. He worked as a research scientist at Cambridge (also studying for a Ph.D. there), at Oxford University until 1948, and then as a professor and researcher at several other universities. In 1938, Chain came across Alexander Fleming’s 1929 paper on penicillin, and showed it to his colleague Howard Florey. In their research, Chain isolated and purified penicillin.–Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. April 2008. Ernst Chain: Antibiotics Pioneer. Acts&Facts, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 10-12.
A. Clark, R.W. 1985. The Life of Ernst Chain: Penicillin and Beyond. New York: St. Martin’s Press, p. 147.
B. Chain, E. 1970. Social Responsibility and the Scientist in Modern Western Society (Robert Waley Cohen memorial lecture).

Concerning transitional fossils, world famous paleontologist Colin Patterson admitted that “there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.” Not one.

Surely it is not necessary for me to remind college professors that Piltdown Man was a total fraud and Nebraska Man turned out to be a pig, not an ape man! And in recent years we have discovered that Neanderthal Man was simply a man with rickets and arthritis, not the much desired “ape man.” Need I go on? The truth is that only a fool says evolution is a fact compared to gravity, and to equate scientific creationists with flat earthers as many evolutionists do is outrageous irresponsibility.

Biologist, Dr. Pierre Grasse, considered the greatest living scientist in France, wrote a book to “launch a frontal assault on all forms of Darwinism.” Grasse is not a religious fanatic, yet he called evolution a “pseudo-science.”

Dr. Soren Lovtrup, Professor of Zoo-physiology at the University of Umea in Sweden wrote, “I suppose that nobody will deny that it is a great misfortune if an entire branch of science becomes addicted to a false theory. But this is what has happened in biology: for a long time now people discuss evolutionary problems in a peculiar ‘Darwinian’ vocabulary…thereby believing that they contribute to the explanation of natural events.” He went on to say, “I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.” He also said, “Evolution is ‘anti-science.'” And so it is.(ref http://www.cstnews.com/Code/FaithEvl.html)

https://evolutionisntscience.wordpress.com/

Jan said...

Fr K, Also a list of the over-500 scientists can be downloaded here a very large number of PhDs among them who say: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutations and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/

Gene said...

In the Garden of Eden sat Eve and Adam
Old Adam smiled as he looked at his madam.
He grinned with mirth,
For he knew that, on earth,
There were only two nuts and he had 'em.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Myth" is one of many types of literature found in the Bible.

CCC 110 "In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.""

Other forms are poetry, narrative, didactic fiction, apocalyptic, letter, parable, etc.

The human authors, in whatever literary form they used, were inspired by God to reveal to us what God wanted to reveal. (see CCC 109)

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - 1. Agree, life begins at conception.

2. Agree, souls are directly created by God.

3. "Souls" are not sinless, people are. But, yes, God does not create/cause evil.

4. Agree, only humans have immortal souls.

5. Gen 2:7: "then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." How are we to understand "out of the dust of the ground"? I maintain that the meaning is that we are made of the same "stuff" as the rest of creation. As Carl Sagan said, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

Theistic evolutionists do not reject this notion that we are made of the same stuff as the rest of creation.

6. I'm not arguing that God does or does not create sin/evil. God does not. I don't see how this point fits into a discussion of evolution.

7. I don't agree that evolution (or polygenism) negates the doctrine of Original Sin. As Piux XII said, "Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own." If it were impossible to reconcile the doctrine of Original Sin with polygenism, Pius would not have included the "Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled..." He left the door open, wisely understanding that his appreciation of the science of evolution was limited, and that the science itself was progressing remarkably fast. I believe we understand now that it can be.

8. I don't get what you're getting at here. In any case, using "Immaculate Conception" for anything other than the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her mother's womb unnecessarily confuses the discussion.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Ugh FrMJK, the soul is what makes us a person created in the image and likeness of God and yes souls din since the soul isn't a thing we have like a brain or heart but who and what we are at he core!

Gene said...

Anon 2, the issue of metaphysics/theology has long been a topic in theological circles, as well as in philosophical ones for different reasons. The Catholic Church has always been soft on metaphysics because of St. Thomas' use of Aristotle in his theology. Though metaphysics may be useful, in an analogous way, in gaining some understanding of theological issues (particularly ontological ones), it can only go so far in understanding a revealed faith such as our's. Calvinists, and protestants generally, have always been skeptical of metaphysics and have taken Kant as a theological dividing point...human reason can say nothing of reality beyond the a posteriori (except in mathematics), thus making metaphysics an impossibility. Catholic theology's weakness, in my opinion, has always been its over-reliance upon rationalism and human understanding. We see this today in the increasingly humanistic/secular trends in the Church. That is why I am much more Augustinian/Jansenist in my thinking... a revealed faith has no reliance upon rationalism or metaphysics. The ultimate metaphysic in modern philosophy is Alfred North Whitehead's Process Philosophy. The logic of that system leads nowhere near the Christian God or the revealed truths of our faith. Neither does the rationalism of the 17th century philosophers upon whom much of modern rationalism relies and against whom Kant was reacting.

Gene said...

You are still trying to blend scientific rationalism (evolution) with Christian theology. This has never worked well and only produces a weird hybrid theology that looks like a Swiss cheese. The Bible is revealed truth; science is rationalistic theory and mathematical laws. The effort to blend them is a Rubik's Cube with no sides that will ever match.

Gene said...

It seems that the major effort to blend science with Biblical accounts centers around evolution/creation. I am not sure why this is, but it seems like straining at gnats and swallowing camels. There are far more serious incompatibilities between science and belief
in Holy Scripture...the Virgin Birth, the OT miracles, Christ's miracles, His resurrection from the dead, and His ascension into Heaven. None of these other Scriptural accounts can possibly be reconciled with science and remain meaningful theologically. Oh, there have been all kinds of nonsensical efforts to explain the miracles, all of them reductionist and pseudo-scientific. You either believe that God has acted in such a way as to suspend the laws of nature and physics, or you do not. This belief is based upon revealed truth and the elect who believe it and are called by God to be His people. Believing Christians can only smile at the frantic efforts, on the part of some, to reconcile human reason with revealed truths which are, by any REASONABLE standard, unbelievable. The Church, since Aquinas, has attempted to straddle this chasm of reason/revelation with only questionable success, producing such theological anomalies as Teilhard, CS Lewis, and a few others. The only proper response to all of these is God's words to Job: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth..."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Good Father, if you could get someone to translate this: "Ugh FrMJK, the soul is what makes us a person created in the image and likeness of God and yes souls din since the soul isn't a thing we have like a brain or heart but who and what we are at he core!" into English, I'll be happy to reply.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said... 8. I don't get what you're getting at here. In any case, using "Immaculate Conception" for anything other than the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her mother's womb unnecessarily confuses the discussion.

It's quite easy to understand.

1. According to you, the first human person (let's call him Adam) was not created from the "dust" but was conceived in the womb of a mother.

2. That mother was not the first human person; she was an evolved hominid.

3. That mother did not possess an immortal soul because she was not human; thus, the first human's parents were not immortal, as they did not possess immortal souls.

4. The soul of that first human was conceived without sin. If it was not, then the doctrine of original sin is false.

5. Not only was the first human conceived without sin; he was conceived without sin by a non-human.

6. Thus, there had to be more than one Immaculate Conception: Our Lady's and at least one other one, Adam's (or whatever you want to call the first human), and the first Immaculate Conception occurred in the womb of a non-human.

7. This runs right up against the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, as Pope Pius IX made it clear that the Immaculate Conception in St. Anne's womb was singular.

8. There's no way you can get around this and still believe what you believe.

DJR

Anonymous said...

I post again to clarify a point.

Father Kavanaugh: The concept is easily understood and can be distilled to the following questions/points.

1. Was the first "man" (that is, the first living being that was not an angel yet possessed an immortal soul) taken directly from the earth, as the Genesis account states (Adam), or was he/she conceived in the womb of a mother?

2. If taken directly from the earth, your concept of evolution fails because the first man was taken directly from the earth without having a mother and without being descended from "hominids."

3. If conceived in a womb of a mother, then there is only one possible deduction one can make:

a) The first "man" with an immortal soul was conceived by a non-human mother who did not possess an immortal soul (an evolved "hominid").

b) The conception of that first man was an Immaculate Conception because:

I) non-humans and non-angels cannot "sin" and therefore cannot pass "original sin" onto their progeny;

II) the first human HAD to be conceived without sin because God could not create a sinful first human;

III) the doctrine of original sin requires us to believe that "man" was created without sin but lost his innocence by somehow sinning and that that "original sin" is then passed down to us at the time of our conceptions.


In order for you to maintain your beliefs, you either have to a) deny original sin or b) deny the infallibility of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, as Pope Pius IX stated it was a singular event or c) deny both.

There is no way around this for you.

DJR

Jan said...

DJR, I agree with you and Fr K says "In any case, using "Immaculate Conception" for anything other than the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her mother's womb unnecessarily confuses the discussion" obviously because he is not been able to answer the concept of an immaculate conception other than the Blessed Virgin Mary which we have to logically deduce from his views on evolution.

To add to Gene's comments, if it wasn't July I could add, "Here we go gathering nuts in May" ... as some of the scientists I have referenced readily infer.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

I really don’t see the problem here. Well, yes, I do see the problem, but the solution is perhaps not hard to find. If I understand correctly, the Catholic Church does not take a position on when the soul is infused in the body. For all humans after the first true humans, however, we believe that this occurs some time during pregnancy. However, why couldn’t God have infused the soul into the hominids who were to be first true humans after they had been born, effecting a mysterious transformation of their entire being? If God could create them from dust and a rib, then surely He could do this too?

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

We are only talking about what science is able to_prove_. I don’t think science will ever be able to disprove the miracles you mention by demonstrating a convincing natural explanation. Science has its proper limits, as faith does. But science_was_able to prove the heliocentric hypothesis correct, and it may well be able to prove evolution correct. The Church does not want to give hostages to fortune, as St. Augustine wisely advised.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

P.S. In any event, the problem you identify cannot be insurmountable; otherwise, the Popes who have accepted the possible validity of the theory of evolution would not have done so. They are not ignorant of the implications.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

DJR - If I shared your literalist reading of the Creation Accounts then I would agree with your conclusion that I cannot believe in evolution.

However, I do not share your reading of the Creation Accounts.

There is no requirement that a Catholic believe a literalist reading of the Creation Accounts. The Church says, "The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents." (CCC 390.)

The primeval event is a rejection of God's law - Original Sin. "The beginning of human history" means, I believe, "with the first human." It does not mean that the first human had to appear "from the dust" rather than from the womb of a hominid predecessor.

I think you are reading too much into this "beginning of human history," attempting to pinpoint a precise moment which, then, would require belief in a human who simply appeared from dust without the assistance of being carried in a womb. Adam and Eve has belly buttons.

The very fact that "figurative language" is spoken of plainly means that the Church understands that a literal reading of the accounts is not what the human authors had in mind. If it is "figurative" it is not "literal."

There is no requirement that I believe the first humans simply "appeared" with no previous hominids in our evolutionary tree. If figurative language is employed, and it is, then our job is "to discover the sacred authors' intention,..." (CCC 110), and to do this we must "...take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current."

Among the literary genres in use at that time is myth. Like apocalyptic literature, myth employs symbolic language to talk about reality.

The four basic realities taught in the Creation Accounts are these:
1. God created from nothing. ("In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth...")

2. What God created was perfect. ("God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.")

3. Through human choice, sin and suffering entered into God's creation. ("The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.")

4. Humans cannot undo the damage of sin. ("He expelled the man, stationing the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life.")

This we must believe. We are not required to believe that snakes in the Garden of Eden could talk, that the actual first sin was eating a fruit, or that there was a physical "Garden of Eden" where, for a time, everything was perfect.

Gene said...

Anon 2, And, I am saying that it is irrelevant what science is able to prove or not prove.

Anonymous said...

Jan You did not really understand the meaning of that joke at 7:41 did you?
You seem to be a fine proper lady. I wonder if you know what the last line means?
I just don't think you or any woman would think that was a funny joke. I honestly think you misunderstood him.
It was vulgar and insulting and nothing that needs to be on a Catholic Blog.
Sarah

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

Perhaps this passage from Pope St. John Paul’s Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, from which I have already quoted on this thread, may shed further light on the problem you identify:

“[T[he theories of evolution which, because of the philosophies which inspire them, regard the spirit either as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a simple epiphenomenon of that matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. They are therefore unable to serve as the basis for the dignity of the human person.

6. With man, we find ourselves facing a different ontological order—an ontological leap, we could say. But in posing such a great ontological discontinuity, are we not breaking up the physical continuity which seems to be the main line of research about evolution in the fields of physics and chemistry? An appreciation for the different methods used in different fields of scholarship allows us to bring together two points of view which at first might seem irreconcilable. The sciences of observation describe and measure, with ever greater precision, the many manifestations of life, and write them down along the time-line. The moment of passage into the spiritual realm is not something that can be observed in this way—although we can nevertheless discern, through experimental research, a series of very valuable signs of what is specifically human life. But the experience of metaphysical knowledge, of self-consciousness and self-awareness, of moral conscience, of liberty, or of aesthetic and religious experience—these must be analyzed through philosophical reflection, while theology seeks to clarify the ultimate meaning of the Creator's designs.”



Gene said...

I fall back more and more on the Calvinist/Reformed view that science has nothing to say to theology. Attempting to justify theology to science or to employ scientific reason to theology is supping with the Devil, in my opinion. "Reason is a whore who can be made to lie in any bed." Martin Luther

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